By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Everton Gonsalves, has hinted that the body could, in January, jumpstart it’s preparations for upcoming CONCACAF 2022 World Cup Qualifiers slated for March next year.
“We are very confident that we will be able to spring into action right after we would have accounted to the people how their monies would have been spent during the period ending December 31, 2019 and so, as you know, our annual general meeting or our annual ordinary congress takes place on the 21st after which we will take a little break for Christmas and then bright and early into the new year we will start getting our preparations ready for if it holds through that those matches will be played in March,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda will contest Group A alongside El Salvador, Grenada, Montserrat and the US Virgin Islands.
Gonsalves said also that the FA could also name a coach and technical director by the end of the year.
“I am getting recommendations on the local ground from all and sundry, lobbyists have been calling me from as far as Asia, so during that period of time [the rest of December] also I will be sorting and putting applications in a priority order and getting down to a shortlist, so by that time we are able to resume national training, because I am hearing also that we have been given clearance to commence in that area also, so early and bright in January you will hear who the lucky persons will be,” the president said.
The former national striker assured also that the FA is in constant contact with players, including those based overseas.
“We have a new development where some top players may be going off in January to one or two of the top universities also so we are in consultation with the potential players. We are also in consultation with our potential England-based players and some of them are involved in football and contrary to what people think, a number of the local potential selectees have been involved in football also, getting themselves ready and playing a number of scrimmages amongst themselves, not organised by the ABFA of course, and so we have always indicated to them that they need to be extremely careful,” Gonsalves said.
Antigua and Barbuda will face Montserrat on 24th March 2001 before taking on the US Virgin Islands three days later. The Benna Boys will then round off their group campaign against Grenada on April 6.