By Neto Baptiste
Close to 20 offers were made to young footballers in less than 24 hours following the conclusion of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) college combine held at the body’s technical and training centre from December 12-15.
This is according to technical director Sowerby Gomes who revealed that talks are ongoing between those US-based schools and the parents of the identified players adding that more offers are anticipated throughout the course of the week.
“We were able to receive 15 offers yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon and by around 9am [Wednesday] we received another three offers, so we have 18 offers and these are just offers from the coaches in the ground. We should be receiving, later today [Wednesday] offers from those coaches who were watching on line and of the 18 offers so far, nine of which are girls and the other nine are boys, we had two offers from Howard University and that’s an NCAA Division 1 school,” he said.
Gomes added that negotiations are currently ongoing between the schools and the respective parents regarding the offers.
“The communication is happening right now between the players and the parents so I think that before the end of the week we will know exactly the quantum of the offers. What we have so far is about two schools making offers to one [the same] player so the players now have to make that decision with their parents in terms of what are the best opportunities that present themselves,” the TD said.
The former national defender, in giving a broad overview of the combine, said it exceeded all expectations.
“We would have prepared these athletes over the past couple of weeks for this particular occasion and on those days when they had to perform for these coaches, yes you expect them to do well but to see how the preparedness was able to unfold, it was just breathtaking for me. I felt good knowing that each of the athletes got a chance to represent themselves. In terms of the actual playing and seeing how they construct the entire tactical approach in terms of the coaches with the players and the players executing their drills, from my standpoint it went down well,” Gomes said.
A total of 90 players, 57 boys and 33 girls took part in the combine while a total of eight US coaches and nine scouts physically attend the sessions with another 45 coaches viewing online.