The recent failures of our football to participate in the CFU and CONCACAF Youth Tournaments for boys and girls in U14 and U16 is a testimony of the National Sporting Association’s inability to manage its affairs. Successive attempts and calls at jolting the TTFA into action have been simply “dead ends” due to a lack of commitment to long-term programming.
Former national coach Terry Fenwick on his elevation to the post, elected president of Northern Football Association, Ross Russell, technical directors Dion La Foucade and Anton Corneal all in positions to duly agitate and propose to follow up on their calls for Youth Football have not resulted in action.
In this regard time is now for the national community to declare, “Enough is too much.”
Far too much, for us to sit and accept this sorry state of affairs with selected personnel to manage our game not understanding their roles and duly performing.
The suggestions are wide-ranging from proven theories, and tried and tested programmes but sorely lacking in implementation in our country. It appears as though as soon as one becomes a Sports Administrator in our major sporting organisation, he is an authority knowing everything and suggestions given in good faith are often ignored.
Youth sports and long-term involvement and achievement are non-existent. Often these overnight authorities come with a little track record of performance.
We don’t have to look beyond our region to find the result of youth and national development with Jamaica as the finest example.
They qualified for a World Cup, Women’s second World Cup both ahead of us, while today we cannot field teams in age-groups Under-14 and 16s.
One may be tempted to start a “minor league” of Youth Football and hope to be the example for these “overnight success” failures.
There is even a need for us to examine and appreciate our past programmes, largely conducted on commitment and volunteerism without amateurism, but a level of measured attainment in our Youth Football, where we were the first Caribbean nation to qualify for an Under-19 World Cup.
The Under-14 team of 1981 which gave us Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke, Shaka Hislop, Ancil Elcock, Wayne De Bique (and for good measure Brian Lara) stands out as the most beneficial programme in Youth Football ever conducted in our country. Bertille St Clair can attest to that.
The situation today seems to be “pay” for everything we do. National coach Angus Eve recently reminded us of his parental involvement and investment in him his development through which he developed. A fine example indeed.
There are other such families known for their support for their children. Imagine the disappointment of an Under-14 child being told we are not going to the tournament.
Are we so insensitive or just another example of the “Square Peg”?
The TTFA must understand that “administration” is to blame for everything, as I was taught during at a FIFA Futuro Course conducted by Hugo Salcedo and which has greatly influenced my life opportunities to lead.
Be it Normalisation Committee or whatever there is to be proper acceptance of the responsibility or “doing the honourable thing”.
Those of us who so unselfishly served our game and country can stand tall today and feel our service to our people in Sports, and elsewhere, was not in vain.
“Enough is Too Much”!
Former TTFA Administrator,
FIFA Referee, CFA Secretary,