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BFA: Tridents will rise again

Ezra Stuart

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The Barbados football team will rebound from their winless World Cup qualifying campaign which resulted in the country sinking to an ignominious 161st in FIFA’s latest global rankings.
That assurance has come from senior vice-president of the Barbados Football Association (BFA), Sherlock Yarde, also the chief selector of the national side who lost all six of their World Cup CONCACAF Group B qualifying matches.
“While I am disappointed with the results, I’m confident that we will rebound. But we need to put together a development plan for football,” Yarde told NATION SPORT yesterday.
“First and foremost, we must bring a technical director for football on board.
“We have some talented, young, up-and-coming players who have natural ability but they need that tactical and technical guidance from someone at the highest level who really understands football,” Yarde contended.
Barbados lost to Guyana twice by 2-0 margins and were thrashed 2-0 and 4-0 by Trinidad and Tobago in their home-and-away ties. They were beaten 2-1 on each occasion by Bermuda, who hosted both legs.
After climbing 52 places in the rankings back in 2006 to 100th and then rising to 92nd, Barbados are now ranked as the 26th team in the CONCACAF region.
Whereas Barbados have made a downward slide, countries such as Antigua, Guyana and Grenada, who were no match for the Bajan Tridents in previous years, have made steady upward strides.
Antigua are now ranked 83rd, with Guyana at 97 and Grenada at 106, while Jamaica are the highest ranked English-speaking Caribbean team at 47.
Trinidad and Tobago, who were also ousted from the World Cup, have slipped to 86th position, behind Haiti who are listed at 78th.
But Yarde is optimistic that Barbados will regain their rightful place in Caribbean football.
“We have to go forward with the young players. The days of going back and playing people is a thing of the past. There were some bright spots within the team in the qualifiers that gives me hope for the future,” he said.
He identified footballers such as Diquan Adamson, Tristan Parris, Ricardio Morris, Jason Lovell, Jabarry Chandler and Dwayne “Boot” Griffith as some of these players.
“I see an influx of real young talent [that] just want harnessing and I believe that we need to look at some of the under-17 players and others just above that age group who have potential.
“It’s just for us to work with them as a matter of urgency and prepare them for next year’s Digicel Cup, as well as some of the guys we have now in their mid-20s with exceptional talent,” he opined.
Yarde said the inaugural LIME Pelican Challenge had also brought a big buzz to football in the country.
“There is a new hype and interest for the spectators and the demands are that players produce a higher quality of play. Administratively, we must raise the bar at the Premier League and continue the growth as there are positive signs for football,” Yarde noted.
“The field (AstroTurf facility) at Wildey will soon be ready and it will allow us to be able to train there regularly and prepare our national teams properly so that we can regain our status in the Caribbean,” he added.