Rayne Pledges To Mend Fences

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Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) presidential hopeful Joel Rayne has identified as one of his immediate tasks, should he be elected during the May elections, the bringing together of “disenfranchised” stakeholders.
Former vice president Rayne suggests that there is a disconnect between the FA and a number of its stakeholders that, once fixed, will serve to improve the game at all levels.
“For too long the stakeholders have been disenfranchised and when I talk about the stakeholders I am referring to players, both present and past, corporate Antigua & Barbuda, the fans and the clubs; even the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Committee,” he said.
“We need to get everybody on board if we want to realize the goal of moving football forward. So I wouldn’t just say the first 100 days, but my immediate attention, of course, would be to reach out to the stakeholders and let’s see how we can discuss and dialog,” he added.
The Potters Football Club President went on to reveal that he has not submitted a slate for the vote, which is carded for the May 22. He went on to add that current President Everton Gonsalves, although a formidable striker during his playing years, has failed as an administrator.
“We all love Batow the football icon, but what I am saying here is that it is not Batow the football icon running here. So what I am trying to do is tell clubs to try and separate both because I love Batow and I don’t pass him anywhere and he would tell you that, but the point is I can separate the iconic figure when it comes to football in this country from the administrator,” Rayne said.
“As it stands right now, Joel Rayne will not be presenting a slate because it is not about Joel Rayne seeking power so he picks up a bunch of individuals because they carry a vote in a club; that will not serve football any good. When I look at the calibre of individuals who have put up their names to run, I am very much impressed,” he added.
The presidential hopeful said his desire to lead the association is not one of self-interest, but rather a yearning to make a positive contribution to the sport.
“It’s not a power struggle with me. I am not seeking power but I want to see football move in the right direction and put systems in place. In my situation, my focus and emphasis will be on development and coaches’ education and I think those are the key principles of moving the football forward,” Rayne said.
“We have a lot of other stuff, but unless we have a strategic development plan and a proper educational system for our coaches because we have to create a plethora of coaches, we cannot have enough coaches within the system,” he added.
The ABFA elections, originally slated for May 13, has since been delayed by a week to accommodate the Association’s participation in the FIFA Congress slated for the same weekend in Bahrain.
President of the Harney Motors Tryum FC, Keithroy Black and Grenades’ Edson Joseph will also challenge for the FA’s top spot.

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