Ian Sardine, Founder, Director and Head Coach of System 3 Sports Academy, is pleased with the inclusion of a number of his players, especially the (youth) development players, in the national senior men’s football training squad.
“I am extremely happy that the coach has confidence in my players but, then again, that is nothing new. Over the years we have supplied quite a lot of players for the national teams,” Sardine told THE VINCENTIAN.
He gave some insight into his Academy’s approach, saying, “We do consistent work with our players at all levels and we go out of our way to nurture and develop players. In the immediate past, we have taken the young players overseas to give them incentives and encouragement to stay in the sport, but even before that we were attracting some of the best youngsters, and helped them to develop.”
Sardine, an experienced football administrator who, in the past, served as President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF), said the inclusion of players from his Academy is testimony of his Academy’s commitment to player development.
“This is why I continue making the effort to invest in football so the players can get incentives,” he stressed.
As for the development players, Sardine described them as the future of the sport.
“If we are talking about 2024 to 2026 for the FIFA World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico, that should be our focus and we should concentrate on that effort, so I am glad and encouraged that the coach has started giving the youngsters from the different clubs, including System 3, some exposure.”
Sardine is of the view that there must be an ongoing process of seeking new means and ways of motivating and encouraging the young people to get involved in football, since this could only benefit them.
“Over the years we have used different incentives. Fortunately, we started having access to colleges in the USA for the ones who were academically inclined, and there are quite a few out there. So that is one incentive that keeps them motivated and allows them to see there is more than just playing the sport on the field,” he elaborated.
And now that traveling overseas is restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sardine, who is a retired primary school teacher, said his Academy is “pursuing other means in motivating the kids, like camping locally in different areas and focusing on a variety of training methods and routines. We also encourage the kids to do skills work at home which is reviewed by the Academy’s coaches.”
System 3 Academy’s website states that: the Academy was established in 1997; it participates in athletics and football competitions locally and regionally; locally it has teams, especially in football, in all divisions from U-7 to adults; it has a combined male and female enrollment of 300.