Carl Dickson – President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) is determined to keep this country’s top national players at home, all year round.
The president made this commitment while delivery remarks at the opening of the 2020 Cumputec/COMSPORTS Arnos Vale Football League, September 20.
“My primary focus and the focus of the SVGFF at this point in time is to get to the point of implementation of our semi-pro league across St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Dickson said as he moved to delving into how he intends to fulfill his commitment.
“I think too many of our quality players are leaving the shores to go and play in substandard leagues and it depletes our stocks, so what we are trying to do is to invariably put in place a semi-pro league that will offer some measure of compensation and remuneration for our local players,” he added.
As it stands, the Federation is working out the logistics, Dickson said.
He admitted that how the league unfolds could “cost me politically, because there might be some disruption in terms of how things are played out now.”
He insisted, though, that it was essential for the development of football that “we get it right at this particular moment, because when this thing is finalized and rolled out, we will be affecting about 200 players in total.”
Dickson also pointed to the league being an industry that will serve as an economic opportunity for 200 to 250 students.
“We have taken a close look at all of these needs and we recognize that our players will be better served playing here as a unit and then moving on to the next level,” he assured.
He also disclosed that the SVGFF has been the recipient of much support from CONCACAF, in terms of shaping the model that would be best suited for the Vincentian market.
A confident Dickson declared: “When our guys go out as national players, they are exposed to an environment to which they are not accustomed. We have a group of young talented players and they will be better served being in a semi-pro environment where they know they have to train daily and follow instructions, be able to communicate with the media, fans, etc. So once we create that environment, the transition into international football will be seamless for them while giving them an opportunity to develop holistically.”