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#503325 - 04/14/15 11:06 AM McCauley Back? 2nd round of World Cup Qualifiers
Marty Offline

Will Deon McCauley Be Back for Second Round of World Cup Qualifiers?

Deon McCauley

The issue of Rawell Pelayo wasn’t brought up during the ordinary congress of the F.F.B. on Saturday but the future of star striker Deon McCauley in the upcoming home and away series against the Dominican Republic was a topic of discussion.  There has been formal correspondence between F.F.B. and McCauley concerning his participation in the subsequent World Cup qualifying games.  While he has been formally invited to take part in the tournament, he is required to find his way to Belize on his own dime since he is presently unassigned to an international team.

Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

“The national team director made it clear in his report this morning that Deon McCauley is on the national team program.  He is a part of it, he is invited to be a part of the national team but he cannot be given the same courtesy as international players because he is not assigned to any team at the moment, you know.  So he is a part of the team, he has been called to come in to practice just like any other player.”

Reporter

“Is that how you would treat other athletes in the past, I mean to say this is a Belizean who is one of our best or probably the best right now and shouldn’t we have some kind of courtesy to treat him with more respect?”

Deon McCauley

Ruperto Vicente

“Well certainly, we are treating him with a lot of respect.  The fact that we have placed him, that he is on the national team that’s maximum respect to any of our players.  Remember that all our players are important in this process so we are treating every player with respect.”

Duane Moody

“Has there been any confirmation from McCauley that he will be here for the training and of course playing in the match that’s upcoming later this year?”

Ruperto Vicente

“He has sent an email stating that he had wanted to come but he has also set some conditions, you know.  And those conditions include that his transportation from the United States to here be provided.  He will also want to negotiate, you know, his fee for playing on the national team.  It is stated that our international players as well as our national players are treated with the same respect and they get the same payment for being on the national team.”

Channel 5


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#503375 - 04/16/15 10:57 AM Re: McCauley Back? 2nd round of World Cup Qualifiers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Campaign To “Get Deon Home”

On Monday’s newscast, you heard the position of the Football Federation of Belize in trying to get the country’s premier striker, Deon McCaulay, back home to play for the National Team. The Jaguars are set to play the Dominican Republic in 10 weeks’ time, but according to FFB president Ruperto Vicente, if McCaulay wants to play on the National Team, he’ll have to pay for his own transportation to get back from the US.

Vicente explained on Saturday that because McCaulay is not signed to any international football clubs, he is ineligible by FFB rules to be brought home using Federation money. But football fans are clamouring for McCaulay to be a part of the team, but he’s told persons that he can’t afford to come home. So, a group of fans, who call themselves the Associations of Belize Concerned with Getting Deon Home have started a dollar drive to raise the money required to get him on the national team. They want to put together $5,000 by Friday at least, which would pay for McCaulay’s ticket as well as the stipend paid to professional players weekly. We caught up with 2 of those fans taking on this initiative, and they explained how you can help.

Jamel Wagner – Fund Raising For Deon McCaulay

"After the Press Cadogan sports show on Sunday, I posted a comment on Facebook tagging a few friends. After I did that, we had a big conversation. The comment basically was - we need to kill this conversation very quick and get a dollar drive started and bring Deon home. Get a plane ticket for him and bring him home. FFB say they can't by their rules, can't being Deon home. They can't buy the ticket, so I said - alright, why don't we just get a dollar from us Belizeans, show them how to do it and bring Deon home. After that, a lot of comments came in, a lot of conversation happened. By Monday evening, we got in contact with people who could have contacted Deon. Spoke to Deon, he said he is healthy, he's ready to come, he can prove that he's healthy, he wants to come and he is here to put in hundred percent."

Cordelia Belizaire – Fund-raising for Deon McCaulay

"He is committed that as long as we can get him here and get the finances needed to cover him over the next 10 weeks while he'll be here in Belize and as well travel to the Dominican Republic to play with the Jaguars. That he will do his best. He wants to play, he has no obligations, he wants to be a part of the team. It's just that he can't do it own financially."

Jamel Wagner

"We spoke with a couple of the managers of team players on the Jaguars. The managers of their personal clubs. They said they have a few players on the national team and while they are on the national team, they're still getting paid weekly stipends of 300 dollars. We asked Deon if he was okay with that, he said yes he is okay with that, so we want to get that to him. The entire sum is 5,000 dollars. 1500 dollars for the plane ticket, we checked it yesterday online and it was 750 ode US - we don't know if it will change but that's what we saw yesterday. 3,000 for 10 weeks - 300 dollars at 10 weeks. This is the entire period starting from next week up until the end of the 2nd round - that's 300 dollars a week. There is 500 dollars just in case we need to change the price of the ticket. We are looking for if we can get dollar pledges - it would be perfect if we could 1 dollar pledge from 5,000 people. That means we have 5,000 persons behind us. If we can't get that, we're still accepting more. If you can afford more then put more."

The ABC Deon fans will be camping out at Semi-pro games asking fans to donate as much as they can, and at least a dollar. Additionally, persons who would like to make pledges can deposit money into the Atlantic Bank account number 211-569-202. Additionally you can reach Jamel Wagner at his cell phone number 626-7344. We’ll check back with this group to find out how close they are to reaching this goal.

Channel 7


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#503447 - 04/18/15 10:59 AM Re: McCauley Back? 2nd round of World Cup Qualifiers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Striker Deon McCauley Is Home

On Wednesday night's news, we told you about the fundraising effort organized by a grassroots group of football fans. The group calls itself the Association of Belizeans Concerned with Getting Deon Home. They wanted to show maximum support for the prolific striker, Deon McCauley by raising $5,000 in donations to cover his travel expense, and a weekly stipend to pay him for the next 10 weeks while he trains with the National Team for FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Dominican Republic.

The "ABC Deon," as the group became known, took action in the wake of the public outrage which resulted when President Ruperto Vicente announced that, due to FFB rules, they couldn't pay for McCaulay's return.

The group gave itself a two-day deadline, asserting that it could get McCauley home from the US by today. Well, they delivered, and at around 1 p.m. this afternoon, Deon McCauley arrived from Atlanta via Miami. 7News was there at the airport to greet him, and he had only gratitude for the general public who gave generously to the dollar drive. Here's what he told us:

Deon McCauley
"It feels very good to be home. Very good to be here where I live - my country. Feel very good to represent my country once again. Looking forward to training, looking forward to being with the team. Looking forward to put in the work and contribute positively to the team and help build the team."

Daniel Ortiz
"So, you must be ecstatic that Belizeans support you in this fashion? They rose to the call immediately as ABC formed itself and started mobilizing."

Deon McCauley
"Well of course, I feel very good that the people of this country appreciate the work that I do and appreciate football on a whole and without the country and the support of the people, who knows what could have happen. So, at the end of the day I have to be grateful to the people and thank them very much for the 50 cents or dollar that they donated towards this cause. Expect the same from me - I always represent to the best of my ability. Like I said before, my resume speaks for itself. I have scored 17 international goals for this country. Nobody has never reached that and might never reach that and I feel good that the people of Belize appreciate me for what I do and I look forward to just doing my best as usual and making everybody proud in this country. And that's me. That's what I do."

We also got a chance to speak with few of the ABC Deon members, and the described the encounters with members of the public as they went around looking for support to raise the $5,000 dollars. They told us that the generosity of the youngest and oldest fans who gave shillings and dollar coins to the fundraiser was the most fulfilling aspect, since it showed the appreciation the public has for football:

Cordelia Belizaire, Member - ABC Deon
"We've had a lot of persons contacted us in supporting us financially to get Deon home, which we are very much appreciated and grateful for the effort. We basically did the dollar drive and we went around. It wasn't just us, there were 10 of us actually, who were actually involved in mobilizing and getting the pledge sheets out ad collecting the funds needed. We had numerous offers from different businesses. One thing that we wanted to stick to was the fact that we wanted Belizeans to do it. For the love of football, the fans, to support, to show Deon how much we really appreciate him, his skills` that he has and to just get him here. That was basically it. We managed to raise all the funds that were needed to cover the expenses."

Dylan Williams, Member - ABC Deon
"We reached to everybody and anybody. The bottom line was that we wanted to really reach out to 5,000 Belizeans giving one dollar. That was the real intention, but once that process started, we got the support of other persons who gave much more than that and which was really appreciative. But, we really sing the song of the 3 year old and the 8 year old and the 52 year olds, who provided their dollar, their shillings - their 2 dollars and everybody basically that contributed."

Kyle Miller, Member - ABC Deon
"It's coming from fans, its coming from young people and we love what we're doing and so, here you go, here is a $25, $5, $50 - we even have kids coming and say see a dollar here sir, we want Deon to come home - we want our team to win, so, it touched my heart, to see so many Belizeans behind this and despite what other people may say, it's a lot more other people that come behind and say you know what, we believe you guys and we understand what you are doing and we are behind you. We support what you are doing - just a bunch of fans coming together and want our player to come home and play and that's just basically it."

Reporter
"You have a very good record when it comes to your sporting discipline and as a result you've made the FFB proud. Are you dishearten by the fact that they are not the main organization or organizers of seeing to it that you got back home?"

Deon McCauley
"No. I am not really worried about them. At the end of the day, it's all about Belize. It's not about them. At the end of the day, i am here now and I am here to work."

FFB Embraces Deon Rejects Bad Rap

The Football Federation of Belize, and its president, Ruperto Vicente, were the target of harsh criticism all this week. That's because they said they couldn't buy a plane ticket to get him home for the national team camp.

But, now Deon is back in Belize and so what does the President of the FFB think? Well, he was at the airport to greet the striker - and told us the anger directed at the FFB was misplaced:...

Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB
"It is a good thing and I have to embrace it as well. It shows that the people wants to participate in the process and they also want to participate in what is now our football. It shows a level of patriotism. It shows a level of commitment to the country. I have to embrace that, but at the same time, we must also understand that they are rules in place. Because we are changing things at the football federation. Nobody comes to the federation or to the national team automatically. Every time we called the national team, even if you have been on the national team for 15-20 years, you have to come back and prove yourself. That is the criteria that has been in place and we are enforcing that kind of criteria. So, for the Belizeans coming to support Deon coming home - to prove himself and try out for the national team - is a welcome gesture. I will not fight against that. It is Belizean and our national team is Belizean team. I am here as the custodian, as the person who sets the standard for our football federation and we the standard for our national team. As I said before, it is no longer business as usual. Our national team has to fit into that kind of program and that is the reason we have this. It is good for football."

"Remember that football, it is a controversial sports. When you are on the field, it is controversy, because the referee makes a decision and people do not agree with it and similarly in administration, there are decisions that are going to be made that some people do not agree with, but must be enforced, because that is the rule of football."

Daniel Ortiz
"You are just trying to set a good example, but your comments spark a bit of rage amongst the football fans who wanted to see Deon coming home. Is that something regrettable to you and if you had to do it over again, would you make that same call?"

Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB
"Yes, I would make the same call, because it is the criteria that has been put in place by the football federation, not by Mr. Vicente, but by the football federation - by the coaches, by those who manage the national team. Those are the criteria that are in place and I embrace that and I will make the same call anytime, any moment."

Both Vicente and McCauley told us today that they have no ill feelings toward each other, and that they want to move forward with the business of getting ready for the second round of World Cup Qualifiers against the Dominican Republic in June. But, what about the rest of the team? Are the other football players able to be just as magnanimous, given that McCaulay got all the attention from the public? That's what we asked president, and here's his response:

Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB
"I spoke to Deon in Miami and I ask him quite blankly 'are you prepared, are you ready to report to camp and he says, Mr. Vicente, I am ready to report to camp on Monday,' so he is reporting to camp. There is no tension. These are just policies that we have in place and everybody have to understand that we must live by those policies. Now, that is regrettable, that this situation I have gotten a lot more attention, that those players who have committed themselves to camp and who are working hard for the national team. They also deserve the attention. They also deserve to be treated fairly, because they have committed themselves and they have put in the time. Every national team player must put in the time. And Deon must put in his time. He is here now. Now is an opportunity for him to put in his time and to prove that he is worthy of being on our national team and I welcome him back."

Deon McCaulay reports for his first day of training camp on Monday.

Channel 7


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#503569 - 04/22/15 10:59 AM Re: McCauley Back? 2nd round of World Cup Qualifiers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Deon In Camp

YESTERDAY, star striker Deon McCaulay attended his first practice with the National Team. This is after he was brought home by fans and a generous patron last Friday.

As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize welcomed McCauley back on the team, but did his football peers and the coaching staff do the same? Well, that's what we found out today, when we spoke with McCaulay and the Assistant Head Coach. Here's what they told us about the first 2 practices since his return:

Charlie Slusher, Assistant Head Coach, National Team
"We need to continue working on ball position. I think that was one of the positive things from the team that we maintain good ball position, we pass the ball a lot, and we got opportunities. Now what we have to do is also work and making use of the opportunities that we got during the past games. And so like I said were working basically on our strengths and weaknesses and we are making some necessary adjustments to the way we were playing. So that in the event that we are playing a tougher team, we will be able to survive and advance."

"From the first day Deon came, he came with a positive mentality. He was one of the first, I would think, the first or second person showing up at camp. And even on the field, as coaches we felt really good to see the way he was moving, the way he was dedicating himself. And just looking at him, you know, made us feel much better going into the next game, because just by looking at what he was doing was kind of already saying to us that we have solved most of our striking problem that we had when it comes to finishing - from what he had displayed already. And we know we even have a month or more to work with him. So again, it was a very refreshing thing for him to be here and everybody welcome him and everybody even built a lot more confidence, they feel more confidence with the team going forward, because they know that some of the issues that we have when it comes to finishing will not be there anymore with Deon present in the forward line."

Deon McCaulay, Member, National Team
"I think it's a positive one, not only for the players but for the entire country. I look forward to working with the guys every day and they look forward to working with me. Everybody is working right now, working very hard, even the younger players. But that's where we, as experienced players, come in to help the younger players to try to let them get to that next level. So I don't see any problem with the transition from the young players to the older players. So, I feel very good about that and like I said I am here to bring my experience to the team, so as long as I am on the field I will try to help out the younger players, advising them - this is what you need to do, that was what you needed to do, so I am here positively just to help the team in any way that I can."

Right now, the Premier League of Belize is in the finals and so the National Team's Coaching staff only has the opportunity to train with the entire team for 2 days this week. As soon as that is over, the practices will intensify to 2 times per day.

Channel 7


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