By Neto Baptiste
Despite lower than expected attendance in the first two days of the All Stars Elite Football Camp, a chief organizer and former national player, Mervyn richards, indicates that they will move the program forward as planned.
Reports say only nine players showed up for Monday’s opening day sessions at the Police Recreation Grounds (PRG) with a total of 13 players in attendance on Tuesday.
“For me, whether it is one, two, three, four, five or six, we will continue to achieve what we promised to do, but today [Tuesday], the participation rate was a little better. We did our ball control and also our one on one and some sort of small setup so that we could see exactly if the drills that we did before were incorporated into the small games and so on, âhe said. -he declares.
The organizers of the camp, which aims to identify talented players, hope to prepare and further prepare for national tasks, anticipated a strong participation of players from whom they would have selected the top 40 players for specialized training.
Richards said the late release of information to clubs by the football association could explain the low number, adding that an apparent lack of interest from clubs could also be a factor.
“I still think it was a matter of information coming out [late] and I believe that there are other camps like the ABFA program which somehow coincides with ours even though they [clubs] I would also have had this information quite late, even later than when they got ours but it’s either that the clubs don’t care about the development of their players and I don’t want to believe it but I don’t see everything just not the reason why if the information had been released and the clubs are aware of what we are trying to do and just don’t respond to it, âhe said.
The former national coach said they had received some help from the soccer federation, but were still awaiting news of the other promised help.
“We got six bullets from them [ABFA] and they had promised to sponsor a couple [of players] but we haven’t heard from them and maybe because of the numbers that could change. We have a temp gun and some hand sanitizers and that’s all we got from them so honestly I don’t know what I can say at this point. I think they promised to send players as well but we haven’t seen them yet, âsaid Richards.
The Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) is also expected to start preparation for its Under-23 men’s team this week, which could also have a significant impact on the camp’s pulling power. The FA is currently running training sessions for girls under 17, under 20 and seniors, while girls under 15 are expected to start their training sessions next week.