By Neto Baptiste
Head coach of the Grenades Football Club and former national striker, Derrick “Pretty Boy” Edwards, said the prolonged delay to the start of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) Premier Division has left him and his players frustrated.
The league, which usually starts mid-September, is yet to commence owing to the unpreparedness of the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) after it was left in a state of disrepair following the 2017 Carnival celebrations.
“I’d have to be honest and say that I think the league [ABFA] has put us in a position that we can’t prepare properly because we don’t have a date that we are looking at. Speaking to the president [Chester Hughes] this morning and the manager [Shaun George] a couple of days ago, we still don’t know when the league is going to start, still don’t know when the finals of the President’s Cup will be played; so you cannot prepare because you just don’t know when and you don’t want to prepare and get on a hype and then fall right back down,” he said.
Reports have however indicated that the FA has identified a November 11 start date for the Premier Division while the First Division commences November 13 and the Second Division one day later.
Edwards said that despite the frustration, his players have remained focused.
“We have players from Antigua that use to play with different clubs but I think the quota [of foreign players] remains the same. I think we have a young squad and I think that we are on course. We are not 100 percent as yet but the young players understand what we want to achieve this season and I think the unit is a good unit, the cohesiveness is strong and I think that we could do good things,” the coach said.
Asot’s Arcade Parham are the defending champions in the Premier Division while Swetes FC and the Five Islands FC were promoted to the top flight.
By Neto Baptiste