Theon Gordon – who delivered the keynote address at last Thursday’s Awards and Recognition Ceremony for the 2019/2020 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s National Club Championships – told his audience that there must be a “Long Term Development Plan” if football is to develop here.
“There needs to be a shared vision, mission and philosophy…People and organisations need to have clearly defined roles and functions within the system, as too often, we have been focussing on stop gap methods and solving problems as they pop up, instead of proactive and making moves to get us to where we need to be,” Gordon espoused.
As for players’ development, Gordon proffered, “We must develop players able to meet the demands of the sport at the highest level… Only a comprehensive player development process can help us to do this…Our aim should be to secure life-long players and fans of the game from the youngest to the oldest, and to enable talent to be developed to its fullest potential.”
Gordon also suggested that as part of the overall plan, a Comprehensive Coach Education programme must be instituted.
“The product that we get on the field is as a result of what our coaches or lack thereof teach our players…
Once we improve the coaches, the players will improve and the game will too,” Gordon reasoned.
He noted, though, that in order for the structures and programmes to come together, there must be adequate support from the administrative and technical arms of SVGFF.
To this end, there must not only be adoption and implementation of and compliance with policies, but also a preparedness to make the hard decisions, Gordon advised.
And in addition to wanting to see “inclusiveness,” he proposed a data collection and qualitative analysis of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Football; a Mentoring programme; evaluation of all programmes; a well organised structure for youth and adult competitions, as well as an Elite Programme for both males and females beginning at Under-13 through to Under -17.
Critical to the quest, he identified the need for passionate, knowledgeable, experienced persons with the right leadership qualities, to guide the process.
Theon Gordon is a former St Vincent and the Grenadines Under-17, Under-23 and Senior team player, and manager of the SVGG Senior Men’s team. Trained in Sports Management in Venezuela, he is presently a teacher at the Bethel High School, is a CONCACAF Instructor and holds a CONCACAF C Licence Certificate.
Still active in the sport, he plays in the midfield for Premier Division Club- Je Belle, of which he also Vice- President.