From left – right -: Kendale Mercury, Andrew Bramble, Michael Harris, and Ian Sardine (photo: Robertson S. Henry)

KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – There has been a shuffling of technical personnel at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, which resulted in the change of head coaches for the National Senior Men and Women teams, respectively.

In making the announcements at a Friday December 21, 2018 press briefing, Wayde Jackson who is the SVGFF’s third Vice-president and chair of its Technical Committee made mention that “A lot of people have been thinking that we may need a foreign coach, or somebody from Europe. The thing is CONCACAF is not heading on that direction.”

Jackson explained that “CONCACAF thing now is to educate in the region. We embrace that philosophy by CONCACAF.”

The shuffling of the technical personnel sees Cornelius Huggins who was the senior men team coach for about six years, being moved sideways to take over the head coach position of the senior women team.

The new national senior men team coach is Kendale Mercury, a position he once held. Mercury has also been St. Vincent and the Grenadines male Under-20, and senior women teams’ coach, respectively.

Appointed as Mercury’s assistant is Michael Harris, who is English-born of Vincentian parentage, and is married to a Vincentian. Harris replaces Wesley Charles, who was Huggins assistant, but has been appointed to take charge of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines male Under-17 team.

As Jackson stated at the mentioned press briefing: “Hence we are expanding the technical team by bringing in knowledgeable people. We are going to strengthen from within.”

Immediately occupying Mercury’s attention is the preparation of the national senior men team for the 2019 Windward Islands Football Association’s Senior Men Football Tournament, scheduled to be held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in March 2019.

Following is the CONCACAF Nations League fixture on Friday March 22, 2019 against Bonaire at the Arnos Vale Grounds.

Wayde Jackson – chair pf the SVGFF Technical Committee and coach of the national Under-20 team, explains the rationale for the appointments (photo: Robertson S. Henry)

Mercury is expected to change the fortunes of the senior men team, following a 2-3 defeat away to the Turks and Caicos Islands in November 2018, losing at home to Nicaragua, but defeating French Guiana 1-nil in Cayenne; all in CONCACAF Nations League fixtures.

The senior men team endured a wretched run with 11 consecutive defeats, the major losses took place during FIFA World Cup qualification.

Former president and first vice-president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation Ian Sardine, is now the co-ordinator of the SVGFF’s youth development programme.

However the shuffling of technical personnel did not affect those in charge of the other teams. Andrew Bramble and Bishon Williams remain as head coaches of the male and female Under-15 teams, respectively.

Wayde Jackson still holds on to his dual roles as chair of the Technical Committee and coach of the national Under-20 team, while Alfred Grant remains as head coach of the national Under-23 squad, and Keith Ollivierre as Technical Director.