Let's go forward with our football
A major new type of commitment has surfaced – some may say on the eve of the elections to the Dominica Football Association's executive board scheduled at a second attempt for this weekend, Saturday 1st August, no more than five days away as this issue of The Sun appears in print. The commitment I refer to relates to activity sessions put on with a cross-section of our young footballers at the Dublanc Playing Field for viewing by and interacting with two premier European coaches. Louis Garvey is associated with none other than the famed Manchester United Youth Academy in Britain, and the other is Jacob Tind who coaches and scouts tirelessly for Denmark's professional club Silkborg F.C. These gentlemen are accompanied by Gary St. Rose whose efforts with W. Connection in the Trinidad Professional League is very well known in the Caribbean.
For those with insights leaning to a "political" bent would ask why the timing of this initiative. Simply, it has come at a time when the patience of the group styling itself as THE WAY FORWARD FOR DOMINICA FOOTBALL has in a downright sense become exhausted. This is in view of all previous efforts to induce the current football administration to adopt a full scale conversion to modernizing our football have fallen on very deaf ears. Such steadfast intransigence by those in authority has relied shamelessly on the tactic of shallow misguiding of our football fraternity – on the ugly premise that our players do not know better and can be very easily fooled into not caring about "lofty" matters of this kind!
Dominica's footballers are asked now to be aroused and take their absolutely pressing interests to heart. It isn't that the foreign coaches will come up suddenly with a marvellous find of young players waiting to be discovered in our midst. They have been at their jobs too long to labour under any misapprehensions. However, what the high powered coaches and scouts are concerned with at present is the extent of proactiveness and dynamism that can be forthcoming from a group as the way forward for our football.
The visitors have not been sparing in ideas as to exactly how our young players can be better shaped to meet the technical and character demands they are seeking to enhance prospects for recruitment into their youth systems. These men value strongly the factor of hard work over a lengthy period of time with young players. For them there is no magic switch. The upward process is never ending, and it can take many years with several groups of youngsters before one of them might strike gold – to put it bluntly!
What we do know is the truth of the poet's observation that there are so many gems "of purest ray serene" lying in our "dark unfathomed caves" of ocean, and our "desert air" truly having our flowers blushing unseen. Very well, then, THE WAY FORWARD looks to put an end to our flowers blushing unseen. Brief reference to our catalogue unearths past names like Cuthbert McIntyre, Cosey Harris, Allan Guye, Sharpe Elwin, the Brothers Reid and a host of others whose blushes never caught the light of day as far as meaningful discovery was concerned.
For them, those stalwarts of bygone eras, opportunity never arrived! But, who is to say the blueprints of our genetic football material is not likely to throw back the talent of men like Irving Benoit, Robertson (Cocoshoe) Hypolite, Desmond Dewhurst and others of the not too distant past?
Every now and again, as the Bard said "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads onto fortune." Now definitely is just such a time and the tide must be recognized and not allowed to be deflated by apathy, disinterest and stagnation.
Ibraheim Broheim's leadership of the WAY FORWARD TEAM for the DFA elections is assertive of the glaring need to restructure and rehabilitate Dominica's football as a mandated movement which can no longer be kept waiting. There needs to be a clear break with the past as the current and past administrators are well enshrined as part of the mass of problems and may not be capable with serving solutions to the gross muddle ensmearing them.
Highest standard of performance on the field of play, and no less with it, highest standards of management and administration in the board room have to be the order of the day. Far from gloating over assumed reprieves by FIFA, who seemingly offered leniency to avoid burying a weak administrative body in charge of a feeble situation, the time has come for all of due backbone to put things in place for the world governing body to see a justification in feeling that good governance is arriving as the light at end of the long dark tunnel. To crystallise this encouragement an overdue changing of the old guard is essential.
Broheim, with Michael Joseph and Robertson Hypolite as president and vice-president hopefuls, and Joffre Faustin eager to take the reins of youth development, and Delroy Williams equipped to shine a bright torch on public relations; added to them Shawn Martin with a fresh voice on financial accountability, there is valid confidence that Dominica's football can be pulled back staunchly from the hopelessly weak positions it has found itself in the twenty-first century. THE WAY FORWARD TEAM is buttressed with an amplified number of capable individuals anxious to take bold steps of turning a distinctly new leaf with our football. The scouting visit is only the sign of several refreshing initiatives on the cards. Our players, our public, our youthful image deserve as much.