The Green City Football Club through its president, Andre Marshall, has sought to convince both members of the public and those clubs set to vote on its acceptance into the membership of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) next week, that the newly formed body is deserving of an opportunity to represent the Bendals community.
His efforts come even in the face of staunch opposition from the long standing Bendals FC and sections of the public.
“We are setting up a female progamme, we are running a youth programme and even in terms of the female programme, the girls have come to me and so we are setting up our female programme to accommodate them. We have a programme where it is three times per week now they are training,” he said.
“At this stage we have done everything the ABFA has asked of us to be registered to them and so we are just waiting until the meeting next week,” the president added.
Marshall went on to assure the public that the intention of those involved in the forming of the new club is nothing short of genuine while accusing the Bendals FC of undermining ongoing talks between the two bodies with the view of finding an amicable solution.
“It’s a positive thing we are doing, it’s a football club we are building that would be taking the youths, girls and the adults off the streets, teaching them football the right way and building a structured club that could benefit everybody,” he said.
“I was surprised even that Jason ‘Basu’ Peters came to the public when we had a resolution meeting just a few days prior with three mediators, two former members of the club and Ivor ‘Ninja’ Luke [former national player]. He [Peters] was supposed to have gotten back to us saying whether or not they want to come as one club and put something on the table as how the new structure would be,” he added.
Meanwhile, president of the Bendals FC, Jason “Basu” Peters, said his philosophy is one of unity, adding that having two teams competing in the same division would eventually work against both entities.
“Bendals is too small for us to be thinking division and I have concluded that there are persons from different areas in the village who are consciously making a decision to try to divide the village in one sense and when you try to speak to the others they give you a different story so they are actually speaking from two sides of their mouths,” he said.
“Bendals is in the lowest tier of football in Antigua, the Second Division, and if it was a case where the team was in the Premier Division and we see a need to have more persons coming through and form another one I have no issues with that but presently, with us being right at the bottom, we need to come together, get Bendals from the lower tier and then if needs be to form another because we want to expose more talent then go right ahead, we have another club,” Peters said.
The ABFA will hold its AGM on September 18 at the Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre, at which time, member clubs will vote on the acceptance of the Green City FC and others to include Fort Road’s newly formed Earthquakes FC.