He works quietly in the background with the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) senior men’s squad, but Patrick Mapp knows his role is key to the smooth functioning of the team.
Mapp, who celebrates his birthday today, has held the post of equipment manager for the last two years.
“As the team was training on evenings, I started being the person around helping out all the time. Eventually Head Coach Russell [Latapy] and Technical Director Ahmed [Mohamed] asked me if I would be interested in assisting the team whenever they had training and laying out the equipment. I then got into laying out the dressing rooms when the team was playing and everything,” he explained.
So far, Mapp, who also makes up part of the complement at the BFA’s Maintenance Department said he has enjoyed his role.
“I love to see when the team is out on the field and how the gear looks on them. Knowing I am a part of setting up that sort of thing brings joy to my heart. It gives me great satisfaction how I play my part,” he said proudly.
But contrary to popular belief, as much as Mapp works behind the scenes, he is still very much in the spotlight and plays a critical role in the senior men’s set up.
“As Russell would say, without me a lot of things wouldn’t be happening. I usually have everything set up for them. Even the coaches, most of the equipment is already set up so they just have to put it in place if they have to. It is a joy to see the end result when everything is done,” he said.
So important is Mapp’s role with the team that he travels alongside them on all their tours.
“Whenever we travel, I still have to attend all the committee meetings with management and match commissioners to know which color uniforms we’re playing in and that type of thing. I also take the commissioner to show them that everything is in order and the numbers are in place. Even though I am in the background I still play an integral part when it comes to certain things,” he said.
As for working with management, Mapp said they are all singing from the same hymn sheet.
“All of us in the management team have a good understanding. We tend to discuss things as a unit instead of individually, to get things working and ensure everybody is reading off of the same page when it comes to game day and practice,” he said.
However, the former footballer at YMCA, WIBISCO Weavers, Texaco and Empire, said while he would love to see football go further, some of the players needed to buck up first.
“It’s alright to say we want to go professional. But the thing about going professional is that some of the players’ attitudes have to change. Change in terms of training, even the way they carry themselves; a lot of things will have to be done for it to be the way we want it to be,” he said.