Parents and coaching staff of the national under-17 football squad has, in a big way, rewarded the young players for the efforts in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup Qualifiers in July.
Members of the team, coaching staff and some parents were treated to a day of relaxation at the Halcyon by Rex Resort, where they had the opportunity to further bond as a unit while mapping the way forward.
Head coach, Vincent Samuel, said the gesture which was organised by parents, has left a lasting impression on the young future leaders.
“Initially, the idea was brought up by Mr Devon Joseph and we got one of the other parents, Mrs Francine Charles on board and they were able to work out the particulars as far as getting us some pleasant rebates and also, some reduction in the price so that we could accommodate some of the parents. I must commend these guys on that,” he said.
“I must also commend my equipment manager (Courtney Francis) because he has been of yeoman’s service to this unit,” Samuel added.
The national coach lobbied for similar activities to take place on a more frequent basis, adding that it builds camaraderie while motivating players to get to the next level.
“We have a number of real talented youngsters who are the hype of football at this point in time. We know football has been taking the country at waves and these guys are willing to work, they are willing to learn, they are much more committed and they are also trying as much as possible to educate themselves as far as the game is concerned,” he said.
Samuel also praised the players for their enthusiasm for the game and the parents for their support.
“I must say they have been buying into my philosophy, they understand what we are all about and they are pretty much on board as far as I am concerned. I must commend the parents because they have been very instrumental as far as where we’re at in this point in time,” he noted.
Antigua & Barbuda exited the competition, in July, despite a spirited performance in Group 1 of the Caribbean Zone.