By Neto Baptiste
Improved communication with stakeholders, enhanced leadership and a higher level of professionalism are just some of the traits that football association presidency hopeful, Barbara Coates, is hoping to bring to the organisation once successful in her bid to dethrone sitting president Everton Gonsalves when elections are held this year.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show Coates, a floor member with the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), believes the body’s leadership is lacking the qualities needed to propel them forward.
“I think that is what we are looking at right now and I know there is a foundation already where football is concerned in Antigua but to take us to the next level we need to have some level of professionalism, proper structure, more communication within the executive and for the clubs and I think that I am the person that has those skills required to take us to the next level,” she said.
“We are looking at what is required, the leadership that is required and it wasn’t an easy decision because I had to speak to my family about it first and I even started doing some soliciting and getting feedback from September of last year and the feedback that I got was overwhelming,” she added.
Coates, who is also a member of the popular Wings Sports Club, said she will also focus on training for members in an effort to improve the quality of administration offered by the association.
“You have to speak to the persons that are the stakeholders inside and outside of football and from being part of it, there isn’t enough communication. There has to be a level of respect for people who are elected because everybody comes onto the executive and they do have a role to play because they are not there by chance. There needs to be some level of consistency in training persons and my background is training. If somebody gets into a position you have to train them to make sure they are equipped,” she said.
As for expectations regarding the battle leading into the elections scheduled for May, Coates said she intends to run a clean campaign.
“I am not a fighter at all, I don’t do nasty at all and I don’t like confrontation. I think we can do what we have to do in a respectful manner so I am not going to get to those levels at all, that’s not my style,” the floor member said.
Two other potential candidates in former referee Denmore Roberts and Michael Freeland of New Winthorpes have made their intentions to contest the pending vote public.