The SKNFA Technical Center in St. Peters, in its short existence so far, has proven to be a real asset to football development in St. Kitts and Nevis. Boasting an artificial turf field, tantamount to international standards, the center is the home of football training for the national youth teams on a regular basis. SKNFA Technical Director Lenny Taylor, at a recent training session of U-14 and U17 teams, said the center is a perfect venue for training and preparing the players. “The younger players look up to the older players and when they see the older players doing the correct thing, it will inspire them to do the same. All players will know the position they play, the roles and responsibility of the position…if all teams are playing the same system; the same philosophy of play, then it is easier to catch the fire across the program, because it would not be just kicking the football, but performing the roles and the duties each players have to play in their position.”
Mr. Taylor spoke about the new thrust in preparing national teams’ months in advance of international competitions and trainings. This augurs well for the youth teams, as it gives them more time to learn the fundamentals of football, develop team chemistry and ultimately excel on the international stage. Mr. Taylor explains the significance of this new development and how the technical center is playing a role in achieving this.
“Absolutely, the coaches are understanding the methodology and all coaches would want to approach from the same generally acceptable principle; so that when they leave the Under 14 to the under 15, it’s just a repetition, with a higher technical challenge than they were under 14,” he said. “It’s coming on well…We believe within the year, St. Kitts and Nevis football will be different.”
Coach of the Senior Women’s National team Samuel Phipps, agrees with this unified football philosophy. “That is important when you are stepping from team to team…so that you could fit in to that philosophy and play that brand of football. I think a brand of football is important for our country,” Phipps said.
This new thrust is bound to produce great results. Earlier this year, the U17 male team, with just two to three months to prepare, were just one win short for qualifying for the Concacaf Championships. With this vast and longer preparation, there is no doubt they should do even better in future competitions. It is not hard to see the new direction of the SKNFA Executive in improving the development of the sport in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Caption: Players in training under the watchful eye of SKNFA Technical Director Lenny Taylor at the Technical Center in St. Peters.