By Neto Baptiste
Chair of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Competitions Committee and head of the female football programme, Gwen Salmon, said the body is on the hunt for talented players based outside of Antigua and Barbuda, but who are eligible to represent the twin-island state.
The football association’s vice president made the revelation while addressing recent poor performances by the senior national women’s team, adding that other countries have gone the route of utilising a vast majority of overseas-based players.
“The countries are scouting; they are following the programme that Jamaica has in place where they are now going out to look for international players to make up with what they have in the country, so I am just reaching out to everyone. So if you know you have a family friend or anybody that has a player that is playing football on the international level and is a really good player, let us know because we need assistance with that. I am a coordinator for CONCACAF and most of the Caribbean countries whenever I do a tournament they have these players who are playing in Iceland, Canada, Miami — those are the players coming into the fold,” she said.
The Greenbay Hoppers FC president went on to point out neighbouring islands that are looking outside for better players, further urging people with knowledge of possible eligible players to make contact with the proper authorities here.
“St Kitts has brought in about 50 percent overseas players and they are very good players; some of them are professionals. Jamaica has done the same thing, so I am reaching out to the residents of Antigua and Barbuda that if you have any family out there anywhere in the world then you need to get in touch with the ABFA because that is what is happening across the Caribbean right now,” Salmon said. The ABFA’s women’s football competition is slated to start on 31st January with seven teams set to compete.