Technical Director of the Senior National Football Team, Piotr Nowak has commended the nation for its support of the Benna Boys during their memorable FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against St Lucia.
Antigua & Barbuda advanced to the next round of matches, 5-4, on aggregates after needing to win Sunday’s away leg by at three clear goals. The Benna Boys rallied to a 4-1 victory in dramatic style at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground to advance.
According to Nowak, everyone, from the media to the public, played an important role in the team’s success.
“Neto and Joe-Joe and all these guys who have supported us as well as the TV station and all of these incredible people including the Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) and Sir Vivian Richards, and Minister EP Chet Greene who spoke to me on Wednesday after the game and gave me hope for good things to happen,” he said.
“Our coaching staff, players and incredible supporters we had (Sunday) night as well as Wednesday who believed in us. Mr Gordon Derrick, Mr President (Everton Gonsalves) and all these people who stood and believed and had faith in us,” he added.
Antigua & Barbuda had lost their home leg of the Qualifiers 3-1 last Wednesday and had come under public pressure to deliver in the final leg.
Nowak said he welcomes all input from the Antiguan public.
”It’s all good; I am taking everything to the heart and I just want to make sure that if you are going to put, not the best players but the best team on that field that they are going to do the job and whosoever the decision goes,” the TD said.
“I have only 11 spots on the field and you can’t put all these guys in who want to play and sometimes the decision goes your way and, sometimes, the guys who are coming in have to do the job too. (They) have to put (their) ego in (their) pockets and make sure that the team will benefit,” he added.
Antigua & Barbuda will next feature in 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in September. The draw will be made in July.