By Neto Baptiste
Coordinator of schools football, Rowan Benjamin, said he will seek an audience with principals of schools competing in the 2020/21 competition in hopes of improving the quality of the leagues.
His revelation follows the completion of the 2019/2020 competition in which the Ottos Comprehensive School captured both the senior boys and girls titles at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) last Friday.
“We have a shortage of referees and if they can get children to get involved in officiating these games then it would go a long way. The old guys are really going and they are just there to help out at this moment but they are at the twilight of their careers so definitely that is one of the areas. The other thing is how best we can address this transportation system,” he said.
Some principals have expressed dissatisfaction over the fact they had not been included in the planning process for the leagues in past years.
Benjamin is however hoping that dialogue with principals could assists in solving some of the issues still plaguing the competitions.
“One of the things that I know definitely we will do is to have a sit-down with the principals of the schools, and it is something that is not only for football, but I have been trying this over the years to really get a sit-down with the principals, and it’s not the principals are not ready, but I believe that it is time that the Ministry of Sports looks at that situation where we need to sit down, hear their concerns and to see how much they can help us to grow the sport,” the coordinator said.
The secondary division of the competition climaxed last week with the hosting of the semifinals and final at the ARG.
Benjamin said there was good quality football on display.
“The match against Irene B Williams and the Princess Margaret School, I think, was one of the better matches that day [Tuesday] and kudos to Irene B Williams for winning third place and the final between All Saints Secondary School and Ottos Comprehensive and I must say that All Saints Secondary were very confident coming into this game [final],” he said.
“They really stood strong but unfortunately they had some chances that they missed, but I must say that Ottos Comprehensive may not have possessed the ball as much as All Saints Secondary, but they played with more heart. Also, congratulations to Ottos Comprehensive for winning the girls championship,” he added. The primary division of the competition is slated to start within two weeks.