St. John’s Antigua- Minister of State within the Ministry of Sports, Senator Winston Williams, has encouraged newly elected President of the Caribbean Football Union, Gordon ‘Banks’ Derrick, to give priority to two key areas of development within the sport here in the Caribbean.
Speaking on Derrick’s election to the highest football post within the region, Williams said he wants to see more attention been given to the female version of the game and also to the creation of more meaningful youth development programmes.
“I would want him to focus on women within football, because I think Antigua & Barbuda have the talent. We have quite a bit of young women in this country who have taken football to the next level and we need to give priority to that,” Williams said.
“We better than some of the other countries and I want to see those two key areas, both in the development of women within the sport and our young people and certainly the infrastructure within football developed,” the minister added.
The sports minister congratulated the former player on his achievement, while expressing government’s excitement with his triumph over regional counterparts.
“This is historic, much like what Antigua & Barbuda will be doing in the qualifying games; it is just a stepping stone. I, first of all, want to congratulate Gordon because I think this has been a long time in coming. He has been working very hard for football in Antigua & Barbuda and I think that his other colleagues in the other countries recognise that and would have given him an opportunity,” he said.
“Certainly the government is excited about what he has been doing and we will support him as best as we can in all of his endeavours,” the senator added.
According to Williams, Derrick’s election to the post comes as no surprise as he has always demonstrated a passion and love for the sport.
“The gates have now flung open and we now have the President of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). I know Gordon has a vested interest in ensuring that women within football is given serious priority, the development games for the young people at the schools level, at the community level and certainly at the professional level. He would have taken on the pundits when it relates to a professional team, the Barracuda, he literally took that fight on and I think that the rest of the world, the rest of the region have simply given him their support because of what he has been doing here in Antigua,” he said.
Derrick, who replaces former boss Austin “Jack” Warner, got the voters’ nod ahead of Cuba’s Luis Hernandez, Barbados’ Ronald Jones and Trinidad’s Harold Taylor at the 35th Ordinary Congress held in Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday.