By Neto Baptiste
Former national defender and a German Level One (A License) certified coach, Sowerby Gomes, revealed this week that he has been working with the country’s football association as they seek to properly structure the country’s youth programmes from a theoretical standpoint.
The former Villa Lions player said the aim is to have all involved in football sharing a common goal where uniformity is concerned.
“Our whole curriculum of football from the grassroots coming right up to the senior national team has to be revamped in terms of our focus, the DNA in terms of where we want to take our athletes. So we have to start the whole building process and I am part of that development that is being looked to coin right now, so that in the next year or two when the full rollout of what’s happening with football in Antigua we can see a total transformation in terms of all of our coaches preaching from the same hymn sheet,” he said.
According to Gomes, this new “blueprint” for football will be used at all levels, including the schools competitions and the many football academies on island.
“All of our coaches, from school coaches go right down to senior coaches, will all follow that particular blueprint. No longer can we be working with one hand working over the other but we all must work together because we are looking about the development of all of our athlete,” he said.
“You may recognise that over the past five to seven years I’ve spent some time with our youth development part of our programme and within that time, eight of our top youths would have done well at the Digicel Kick Start of the Flow Ultimate Experience and eight of those players came out of the Villa Lions Soccer Academy but it should not be one particular academy that should have the formula, this formula should be spread right throughout Antigua and Barbuda,” the former player added.
The successful youth coach said he has been working in unison with the relevant personnel from within the football association as they seek to plot the way forward.
“I work very close with the technical director right now and we are all in this together and so this is a national effort and we have to go forward in terms of building our product regardless of who is at the helm, it is my job to assist and putting all minds together in pushing the best brand forward and it starts with building the curriculum and that is what is being crafted now as we speak,” he said.
Gomes has applied for the FA’s technical director role which is currently filled by former national coach Rolston Williams.