By Neto Baptiste
At least one football coach who works at the senior level of the sport here, has publicly pledged to try and assist the schools programme within his “round south” communities amidst widespread reports that some schools have been “abandoned” by those coaches attached to the Ministry of Sports.
Former national coach and player, Derrick Edwards, while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, said he will be offering his services to those schools and principals in the area in an effort to improve their level of play in the competition.
“I think personally that I am going to probably step up to the plate and deal with from the Jennings area to the Bolans area. I will probably go to the principal of the Bolans school where I use to go and sit with the principal and see what I can do for the youngsters, if I could go in and do a bit of training with the youngsters and in the Jennings Secondary School and see if I could get a session with them on a Saturday morning which is something I think I can contribute back,” he said.
The Jennings Secondary School has forfeited more than 90 percent of its matches in the Boys division of the schools competition so far this year with reports suggesting that the teams have been pulled from the competition.
Further reports suggest that some coaches have not been turning out for scheduled sessions with schools across the island, something Derrick labelled as not being good enough.
“At the end of the day you are put in a position to do a job and you’re supposed to do it to the best of your ability and not only that, but you are getting paid to do something you’re supposed to love because you’re a footballer. I think that the problem that I have is that I think [some] of the coaches were chosen by the ministers [politicians] because they are from their constituency and some of the coaches, I don’t think they have the qualifications but they are there, I could be wrong,” the coach said.
The former national striker and current coach of the Grenades FC, called for more dialogue between those in authority where the importance of sports is concerned, as it pertains to the overall development of students.
“At the end of the day, education is the number one key, so you have to look at the timeline you have to work with the particular school so there is some form of dialogue in place, to know when you can have the kids and when you can’t and when you can plan your programme to deal with it. It is a ticklish issue, but at the end of the day, sports is something that can take you all over the world, and sports could give you an education where you can go to college and don’t even pay a cent; so you have to look at that, and you have to take that serious,” he said. Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, has since said that a meeting has been planned with coaches and other ministry officials as they seek to resolve the issues plaguing the smooth running of the competition.