Saturday, April 13, 2024

Fitness problem


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President of the Barbados Football Association, Randy Harris, says the lack of fitness of Barbadian footballers has been the major factor why the island’s football is lagging behind other regional teams.

In fact, Harris stated that it was time teams ceased the habit of allowing athletes who refused to train to just casually walk into their sides.

“I’ve noticed in . . . the past ten years or so that our clubs at the top level have not been putting a lot of emphasis on training and preparation of players.

“It is evident when we allow players of repute to do as they like and represent our organisations [and] I think the time for that must come to an end.

“I really want to see an end to people turning up on the day of matches or the day before matches are scheduled and getting a play. No matter how good they are, if they are not able to prepare for the football on the field they will not perform and all of you would have seen that over and over,” he told about 40 football coaches, trainers and managers at a BFA training workshop on Monday at the University of the West Indies’ High Performance Centre.

Harris highlighted Rendezvous as a fitting example of training and preparedness paying off. Just a couple of years ago, the second division team won the knockout cup against Premier League sides. He stressed the need for the management of clubs to take the reins and place a greater emphasis on preparations and training of their players in spite of any resistance which they might face.

“I know one of the biggest problems is that you all never get enough people coming to training that you can get a team without damaging the club’s reputation. But everybody has to get stronger in ensuring that their players come to training; they put in the work and the rewards for that will be selection to the team.

“I feel very good coming here tonight. I don’t think that ever in the time that I have been around football that I have seen this kind of support for something like training and preparation, so this is a good sign.

“We have not really been getting the training in the different areas in a way that would accelerate the football to a level where we can all be proud,” he said.

The BFA recently brought on new technical director, former FIFA and CONCACAF trainer Marcos Falopa, to help with the development of the game and he too stressed the importance of fitness.

Falopa stated that teams like Brazil, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were successful because they played the game every day of the week rather than twice per week and he called for Barbadians sides to adapt.

“I am new here and have to adapt to the talking . . . so we have to adapt our training sessions. We know we have suffered playing two or three times all week, so work harder. Without preparation you fall down,” he said.

Harris further noted that the BFA in conjunction with FIFA also planned to place emphasis on developing the strength of youth in the sport starting with grassroots programmes in four communities before the end of this year. It will target both males and females between the ages of six and 12.

By next year the number of communities where the programme will be held is expected to double and in 2016 there will be 12 communities targeted. (SDB Media)


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