The quest of the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) is to take national football as far as it can go by building both capacity and capability at all levels of the organization and its technical team.
It is not surprising therefore the SKNFA has pushed to have its first CONCACAF B-License course, in which 20 of the nation’s top coaches are earnestly working toward qualification. It’s also significant to note, that after Jamaica, this is the second time the course has been held in the Caribbean and St. Kitts and Nevis became the first such recipient.
The first of the three-part CONCACAF B-License course was completed on Sunday, 20th October, at Warner Park, and from all accounts, both participants and instructors have been high in their review of the course so far.
Neal Ellis is one of the CONCACAF instructors engaged in this first phase. He expressed the view that the course, so far, has been successful in creating the climate for better football in the federation.
Speaking during a practical session, Ellis said, “Our goal was to create an environment so that coaches are being pushed every single day and challenged in a way that is going to make them better coaches. That, in itself is going to create a better environment for the island, not only for the players but for the professional teams. Our observation throughout the whole week has been positive. The coaches here in St. Kitts and Nevis have pushed themselves, have worked incredibly hard, having been diligent about creating a plan that is deliberate, is connected to a clear objective, in order for us to experience it…. Myself, and the other instructors, have been pushing them with knowledge and have been pushing them with structure.”
The SKNFA’s endeavour to secure higher rankings through more consistent performance of its national teams is just as important as the individual development of its players.
SKNFA’s Technical Director Jeffrey Hazel believes strongly that the CONCACAF B-License course is a logical step in attaining that goal.
“The CONCACAF B-License course we’re hosting here in St. Kitts and Nevis is very significant. It is the second of its kind here in the Caribbean region. It was held in Jamaica last year. Our coaches get the opportunity to graduate to this license. You know we have been doing the CONCACAF D and C for some years now, and this is the next level in CONCACAF. So, we are happy that some 20 coaches for us are right now are taking this course. We have seen some improvements over the last couple of days. It expands until January next year, and we know our coaches are going to do their best to acquire this license and help develop the football product here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Hazel, as he watched the coaches go through the day’s practical session.
Participating coach Earl Jones of the Newtown United Football Club expressed how important the course has been for him so far.
Jones said: “The course is really advanced, a course not to be taken lightly. I just want to say thanks to those persons who have put it together for us. Coaching Education – if players don’t get the proper information, then we wouldn’t be able to have players here in St. Kitts and Nevis advance…For me, I have received a lot of information, and it really helped me.”
Kenny Knibbs, the coach for Security Forces F.C. said, “This course really opened our minds to the bigger picture of football… This course will help us to make St. Kitts football reach to a higher level, so when we need to select national teams, we will always select the best from the crop that we have.”
Another coach St. Clair Morris of Garden Hotspurs Football Club stated, “With the information I received, it will increase my knowledge on how to coach the club team. It’s a CONCACAF B-License course, and our successful completion can have a major impact on the national team.”
A talk with participating coaches reveal an intense desire to do well and to gain the B-License certification. They are determined and understand what the opportunity is about, as they think ahead for more highly competitive teams to represent St. Kitts and Nevis.
Caption: Some of the coaches during one of the training sessions at the Warner Park Media Center.