By Neto Baptiste
President of the North Coast Football Club Daniel Rogerson said the organisation, although officially affiliated to the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), has no immediate plans to compete in the domestic leagues.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Rogerson said consideration has been given to the thought in the past but added that the time is not yet right as the organsation’s chief aim is the development of players.
“We have looked at it but it is a little difficult for North Coast because we are not a community club so we don’t have that community [base] per sé. When you look at Cedar Grove, you would see that they have the Blue Jays, and we have a very close relationship also with Pigotts Bullets. So a lot of our youth players, when they reach a certain age, would go on to play for Bullets and Potters because we’ve also got a good relationship with Potters as well where we would give players opportunities to play there,” he said.
“Our main aim right now is youth development and to be honest, that’s my passion. We take the boys or girls from four years old right now and all the way basically up to 16 or 17 and I am not saying it is not going to happen but at the moment I just want to concentrate on the youth aspect,” he added.
The club, on Tuesday, announced that one of its players, Drake Hadeed, had signed with the West Ham FC Academy following a short trial in England.
Rogerson said the club continues to thrive during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We closed initially and we opened up recently. We spread the days out over four days now, so we don’t have [a lot of children on the same day] because we are under the 25 limit at the moment and we are lucky. We are very blessed that our home field is owned by the Hadeed family and they have been extremely supportive of the North Coast club. They have invested in the North Coast club and we are very lucky to have that home field and it’s big so we spread the age groups out now over four days,” he said.
On Tuesday, it was announced that 12-year-old Antiguan and North Coast FC striker, Drake Hadeed, had signed with the West Ham FC Academy following a successful trial with the England-based football club.
Drake, the son of David and Jessica Hadeed, is the first young Antiguan within the last decade to sign with an England-based club.