Thirty of the region's best and brightest coaches have been put on a path to spread the knowledge of the game all across the Caribbean as they are currently in Barbados for the CONCACAF Train the Trainer Regional Programme. Getting off the ground yesterday at the Parkinson Resource Centre, the hand-picked group soaked up all the knowledge, skills and expertise on offer from seven of the top instructors under the CONCACAF umbrella.
Coaches from Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados will be undergoing intense training until Friday in a programme headed by CONCACAF Development Managers of the Caribbean Etienne Silee and Andre Waugh along with the assistance of Course Instructors Vinimore Blaine, Antone Corneal, Neal Ellis, Jocelyn Germe and Leonard Lake.
Speaking during the course remarks, Silee, who has spent well over 30 years in the coaching, highlighted the importance of knowing one's strength and it was in this strength that the region would find its way forward in the sport. “From what you are to your ambitions, you need to plan and before you plan, you need to take into consideration your reality. One of our big realities in the Caribbean is our diversity but it is also our strength. In lots of periods before this, we used to copy and paste a lot of things. It doesn't matter if it was from Ireland, the Germans, the Dutch, French or from England. But we have never considered our own. Our own strength which lies in our people. We have a lot of experience. We have always done it in our own way, taking into consideration all the constraints and that was the strength that we have never recognised.” Silee said
Going on to say that the participants needed to go on and take ownership of the coach education in their respective homelands, Silee added that the standard needed to change as just knowledge was not enough to effect improvement. “You are not going to structure the game by knowledge. In the past we came with a lot of knowledge and instead of developing the game, we were not helping our youngsters because development of the game is related to the reality to their nature.”
In his first official appearance since picking up his appointment as Caribbean Football Union President, BFA Head Randy Harris drew reference to the United Kingdom's withdrawal of reparative purchases of sugar and bananas and said that the region now had to find their own way and not wait on the parent federations. “The Caribbean now has to become self-sufficient...FIFA and CONCACAF, God bless their souls, are giving courses and we are attending them but there is no thread to bring success. I want you all to change that. You are the crème de la crème of the Caribbean and the whole object of having you here is that you will be a pioneer in making sure that the football in the Caribbean becomes successful within five years. You have got to set goals and always have a plan.” he said.
Harris was rather impassioned during his address and urged to coaches to always do their best and push the envelope to move the region forward. “Take this course seriously! You set the pace. If you are going to coach and train people to coach, and you are behaving like it is a joke, that is just what will happen – the football will remain a joke. So you have to set the standard. I want all of you to get on your associations' backs to give you work to do. Let you train those others other people around the clubs that with their good hearts and their basic knowledge of football come around to help our young people to develop. But that alone won't do. That is recreation. What we are looking for is what I started with – for the Caribbean to bring the football to a level where the people – the players and the public will see that we are not making sport again.” he said.