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By Neto Baptiste

A renowned successful youth coach and former national football player, Sowerby Gomes, believes he has the knowledge and qualification to hold the sport’s top coaching position.

Having acquired much success with the Villa Lions Soccer Academy, Gomes who holds both B and A level coaching licences, said his aim is to become the country’s technical director for football.

“In fact, my CV is before the ABFA for that post. [The ABFA] would have been the ones who would have sent me off and educated me in that realm, so it is only fitting that after you gain a scholarship through the ABFA and going off to Germany to get your B license and A license it is fitting that you give back. I am big on and in favour of giving back and that’s my whole aim, to improve the level and knowledge of not just players along the Villa lines, but also developing players along the national line,” he said.

The former defender who has featured for both the Villa Lions FC in the Premier Division and the country’s senior national men’s team, believes the focus must be on development and that local coaches must adapt a practice of featuring more young talent in national leagues.

“More of these young players need to be there sharpening their skills, but what you find is that the coaches at that level [are] more on the brink of wanting to win and as a result of wanting to win they are not trusting the young players, because most of them are not around training the young players. They are getting players across within their programmes but they are not putting that trust because they are not there with the whole process of developing these players, and if they can’t trust the players they are not going to give them that amount of playing time that’s needed,” Gomes said. Antigua and Barbuda is currently ranked 126th in the world by FIFA. The country’s best ranking came in 2015 with the Benna Boys being ranked at 82. Currently, the senior women’s squad is ranked 149th in the world.  

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