By Neto Baptiste
Despite coming under public scrutiny, the country’s technical director for football Rolston Williams, is standing by previous statements he made regarding the ability of locally-based players to compete on the regional and international platforms.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Tuesday, Williams said he is not fazed by recent public scrutiny, adding that the same situation exists in a number of other regional countries.
“I don’t care who bash and who make their negative comments, I am dealing with the reality because you’re looking at teams like Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada who [have] gone to the Gold Cup with 15 overseas players. Suriname brought in the same amount so why are being naïve to say that we can make it on our own when we know it’s difficult?” he said.
The technical director, in a previous interview, said the notion that an all-local squad can compete against the likes of Jamaica, Trinidad and others is impractical.
“We had the Barracuda [professional team] that were playing 20 games in a season. The players came home and they were playing 18, so that’s 38 games they played in one year, and that’s the same amount of games the English Premier League is playing; but still, we brought in players,” he said.
“Now, we don’t have any Barracuda so the players are only playing amateur football. So why can we do it on our own now and when we had better players and more seasonal players, we did not think we could do it on our own? We still brought in players, but all of a sudden we can do it on our own with all amateur players,” he added.
Williams predicts that should the situation arise for players to compete in professional leagues across the globe that the football association could then possible look at a set-up which favours locally based players.
“It is difficult; you cannot have a situation where players are not getting elite competition or playing elite football … you have to be playing regularly like with what the Barracuda was doing in the USL [United Soccer League]. They were at a peak so we could have used nine and 10 of them,” he said. Head coach, Michel Dinzey, had opted for an all local cast during portions of the CONCACAF Nations League. The Benna Boys missed qualification to the Gold Cup after finishing third in Group C of League B with nine points from their six matches.