(Source: www.sknvibes.com) BASSETERRE St Kitts – THE St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) plans to continue its “holistic development” in 2014 after a successful domestic developmental season in 2013.
In an interview with SKNVibes Sports, General Secretary of the Association Stanley Jacobs declared that the Federation had accomplished much in 2013.
“We have focused on development, capacity building and there has also been focus on providing opportunities for our young people in terms of our Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) programme. A number of young footballers are now pursuing opportunities in colleges and also in professional teams. It is a holistic continual development of the game and we hope to continue it in 2014.”
The General Secretary noted that academics continue to play an integral role in the development of the young footballers, thus in 2013 the association afforded three of them the opportunity to take the SAT.
He however could not give the overall scores of the young footballers as they were not readily available to him, but noted that the players would know their scores.
“These are a group of young men targeted to enter into college in the United States and the requisite requirement is for them to have the SAT. And that is the reason why we are paving the way and laying the foundation by ensuring that they have the SAT so that when the opportunity arises for scholarships they are ready,” he explained.
Jacobs stated that female footballers in the Federation were also able to obtain scholarships to colleges overseas.
In 2013, the inaugural season of the ‘Guinness Greatness of the Street’ was held and the organisers and the SKNFA deemed it a success.
Jacobs noted that it was good to see that there are various forms of the game being played in the Federation and stressed that street football competition is a more compact form of the sports discipline, which spells good for the future of the game in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“It was a different form of the game. It focuses on a much smaller field…a much more compact field; and so the skills and requirements are much more different. In street soccer it’s more focused on passing and so it helps to develop that aspect of the game.
“It is important that you have various forms of the game which require different skill set. And when you put it all together it holds well for the overall development of the sport.”
He posited that this shorter form of the game has significant growth potential which would soon be seen as the football-loving fans would be craving for more such competitions.
“Well, we would have only had the first one in 2013 and Guinness has said that they would be back in 2014, and it is something that has the potential to grow,” he added.
Conaree FC had dominated the tournament was selected to represent the Federation in the Caribbean Guinness Street Challenge in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Jacobs disclosed that in 2014 the SKNFA would be seeking to develop the Fustal style football which is similar to that of street football.
Meanwhile, in competition play, Garden Hotspurs emerged winners of the inaugural SKNFA J-League Division.
Also in the winners’ circle were Conaree FC, which was victorious in the FA Cup – their first, while Challengers FC was promoted to Premier Division after capturing the First Division Championship title.
Conaree FC also bagged their first Premier League Championship and S.L. Horsford’s St. Paul’s took home the Inaugural President’s Cup and the 2013 Sugar Mas Cup.
The Association, with assistance from FIFA, developed a Draft Strategic Plan to guide the activities of the football body for the period 2014-2017.
Jacobs said it is “to provide opportunities for success for everyone through football”.
The SKNFA also saw the arrival of the FIFA World Cup trophy for the first time in the Federation in 2013.