ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Antigua Barracuda FC, Mark Bowers, although understanding public concerns over the possible fatigue of senior national players attached to the country’s lone professional outfit, has sought to allay fears and inform fans that the management has taken all the necessary steps to guard against such eventualities.
Bowers, who spoke with OBSERVER Media on Tuesday from Trinidad where Barracuda FC is currently contesting Group 5 of the CFU Club Champions Cup following a two-game road stint in the USL Pro Division last week, said that having been on the road since last Monday had taken a toll on the players.
“They are human and that is why I also indicated there has been significant investment in two sports scientists. They are both on the road with us here and what they are here to do is to really, along with local staff, go out of their way to try their very best to help the boys to recover as quickly as possible,” he said.
“After these games on the weekend, the boys will have a deserved rest for, I believe, about two weeks; so yes, it is tough going. We will admit that. But having said that, right now it is the nature of the business and we have to deal with it, get our heads down and get stuck into the situation,” he added.
The professional team was slated to play a second match on Tuesday against Victory FC of Haiti before taking on W Connection on Thursday.
“We will do it one game at a time because we have been on the road since last Monday and it’s really been tough on the boys. The travelling has taken its toll. We have been doing our very best to put in place the recovery measures in the various ice-baths and massages and so on to really get the boys up to it, and so it’s been tough going on the road. But tonight, we take on victory of Haiti and then we would look to do the business against W Connection on Thursday,” he said.
Monday’s victory, according to Bowers, was a welcomed one for the players who were coming off a three-game losing streak in the USL.
“That would have lifted the boys. It would have given their confidence a boost and we were quite happy with the results. At halftime the score was 2-0, but clearly the coaching staff was not happy with the display the boys had put out there. Coach Tom Curtis made some changes in the second half and the players went out and did what we would describe as a comfortable display against the team from Suriname,” the CEO said.
Following their Club Champions Cup group of fixtures, Barracuda return home for USL matches on Friday and Sunday against defending champions Orlando City Lions at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.