Hope International Football Club’s manager Akin John has expressed his team’s disappointment that “not a single member” made it to the list of 23 footballers selected for training as the national team, Vincy Heat, prepares to compete in the upcoming Group C Concacaf Qualifiers for the World Cup 2022.
The St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) name the 23-member training squad in a media release dated Saturday 13th February, 2020.
When ANN contacted John on Monday for comment, he stated: “Our players have put in stellar individual and team performances on the field of play over the last year and a half.
This is reflected in the Club emerging as Premier Division Champions for the 2019/20 and the fact that we now sit atop the team standings in the 2020/21 version of this competition.
Vincy Heat head coach Mr. Kendale Mercury did initiate the courtesy of calling and speaking with Club manager Akin John shortly after the training squad was announced.
Although the details of that conversation shall remain private, Mr. Mercury offered explanations for his exclusion of some players. While we accept that as national coach both he and his technical team must forge a path forward for national football in their vision, the Club’s reasonable disappointment has been made clear.”
John, a lawyer by profession, said the club teach “players that commitment and positive performance are rewarded, and the ultimate reward for them is the honour of representing our national team.”
He said that despite the team’s disappointment, the players are resilient and they are focused as they prepare for the upcoming Caribbean Club Shield tournament, where the Club will be representing St. Vincent and the Grenadines as domestic champions.
“These young men understand that disappointment is in the nature of elite level sport and that the quest to prove yourself never ends. Each and every one of our players must and will continue to give their best on and off the field of play in the hope that they find favour with the national team selectors in the future,” he said.
John further stated: “As a Club, Hope International FC remains committed to offering support to our national teams. We all want to see Vincy Heat do well and each and every member of this Club will be cheering the team on when they take the field in Curacao next month.”
The list of players announced by the SVGFF for training for the upcoming Group C Concacaf Qualifiers for the World Cup 2022 are:
Erel Hector – Avenues United; Josh Stowe Bequia United FC (Future development); Jeoval Morgan – U17/Bequia United FC (Future development); Mark Browne -Bequia United FC; Marlon Simmons – Bequia United FC; Nigel Charles – Camdonia Chelsea (Future development); Dwaine Sandy – Glenside Ballblazers; Terrason Joseph – Jebelle FC; Zidame Sam – Jebelle FC; Orion Velox – U17/Layou FC (Future development); Jadiel Chance – North Leeward predators; Khalique Bowens – U17/North Leeward predators (Future development); Curtlon Williams – North Leeward predators; Derron Hamlet – BESCO Pastures; Java Audain – BESCO Pastures; Jomal Yorke – Sion Hill FC; Kizani Haynes – System 3; Garwin David – System 3 (Future development); Javid Sutherland – System 3; Kishawn Johnny – System 3; Azinhno Solomon – System 3; Ted Roberts – System 3; and Renson Sayers – U17/System (Future development).
According to the SVGFF, Vincy Heat is set to play their first match against Curacao on March 25th, 2021with the return leg set for the March 31st against the British Virgin Islands.
The second set of matches will take place in June 2021.
The Group is made up of Cuba, BVI, Curacao, Guatemala and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.