The Lowdown On Bze's Nat'l Football SelectionLast night, we promised to show you the new national team which was selected by a committee appointed by the new Football Federation of Belize Executives.
Unfortunately, we experienced some technical difficulties, but tonight, we present you with an in-depth look at that press conference which announced the new team.
We start first with the announcement of those players, and the comments that national team's coach made about their talents and readiness.
Here's how that went:
Onan McLean, Vice Chairman, National Teams Committee
"Woodrow West, goal keeper; Frank Lopez, goal keeper; Ian Gaynair, defense; Deon McCauley, forward; Elroy Smith, defense; Harrison Roches, forward; Devon Makin, midfield; Andres Makin, midfield; Tyrone Pandy, defense; Ashley Torres, midfield; Dalton Eiley, defense and captain; Delon Torres, midfield; Leovaldo Mendez, midfield; Russell Casanova, forward; Elroy Trapp, defense; Jeremy James, midfield; Cristobal Gilharry, midfield; Shannon Flowers, defense; Trevor Lennon, midfield and Evan Mariano, forward."
Leroy Sherrier, Head Coach
"I was here 10 years ago and this time I come back and we have better players now, we did good 10 years ago and I think we will do better this time."
This is the team which will be going to the first qualifying rounds of the Copa Americana in Costa Rica, which starts on January 18.
These players were selected by the coach who toured the country in October of last year and held open try-outs for all interested players.
According to the coach, the football community embraced the try-outs warmly, and they showed up enthusiastic to join.
But they also faced some difficulties, which they feel are a hindrance to the progress of football in Belize.
Here's how he explained those:
Leroy Sherrier, Head Coach
"We have a lot of young players that we invite in but they didn't have any interest, Denroy Thurton, he is very good and young and then you have Denmark Casey, a very skillful player. You have Edmund Pandy Jr., - very good but they were not interested. My intention was to carry 5 young players but they weren't interested, but maybe in the future they will."
"The coach came with no pre-conceived conditions. He set his criteria and if we did not meet those criteria whether you have talent or you didn't you were not selected. You had to meet the criteria in terms of discipline, in terms of showing up, showing the interest. That's why he did mention that. Some players may have been left of that - maybe consider very skillful but they had to show the interest and the ability to be able to comply with those discipline."
Rawel Pelayo, Chairman, National Teams Committee
"Many of the players that have been cut from the national team are very much talented players and I just want to go on record to say that the federation through its general secretary did everything it could to getting out those letters to the bosses asking for
permission for these players to come to the training camp. And many of these letters, we didn't get any answer from these people. But the general secretary, through the federation, insisted and that is one of the reasons why many of these talents are not part of this national team is here. But talent is out there. Let me just say for example, I spoke to one boss in Corozal concerning a little guy name Chenko - a very good talented forward for the Juventus ball club. I have to agree with you about the legacy left behind because of the past administration. It really has an effect on the football community outside. The boss lady that I spoke to said she don't want to hear anything about you football because you are all Chimilios. I am sorry I have to use that name and bring it all up again but we have to live with this. This is reality; this is where we are at this point in time. But believe me there is talent out there."
Dean Flowers - Manager, National Team
"At the national committee level we did take time out to come up with a code of conduct for players. The code of conduct based pn advice of the coach has not been presented to the FFB in order for it to be sanctioned by them, so basically we went through it with
the players to explain to them what we expected of them. There are penalties affix to any player breaking the codes and since the process is new - the coach felt that it was only fair that whilst we share the code with them we do not have it sanctioned by the federation as yet simply because he doesn't want the players to feel that once again this is a dictatorial committee and a dictatorial federation that goes about threatening players if they do not comply with our wishes and desires."
To prepare for the games in Costa Rica, the National Team will play 3 exhibitions matches against a Mexican Team, a Honduran Team, and the Premier League Champions, the Belmopan Bandits. The first match takes place this Friday.