All has not been well with football in Montserrat although since Sturge Park the MFA controls a football facility, said to be one the best in the region. If the next news we hear on the activity sent to us in the press release sent out last week by the Montserrat Football Association Inc (MFA) is as surprising, it will be a significant new beginning.
Montserrat will participate in the qualifying rounds as we have for some time now for the next world cup matches.
We received news of this from a request from Infostrada Sports in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands to cover the matches. We were advised then that these matches were to begin on June 3, 2011. Contact with the MFA informed that the matches would be played beginning in Trinidad, perhaps both home and away.
On Friday, June 10, we received the following release, the first in many years from the MFA, which provides some basic information.
“Montserrat’s 18 man strong national football squad are gathering in Trinidad today (Thursday) for a training camp in preparation for the island’s upcoming world cup qualifying against Belize.
The squad contains 3 locally based players and 15 from overseas including Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom. The squad is to be coached by Kenny Dyer, a Montserratian coach based at the USA’s Soccer Academy School of Excellence based in Manassas, VA.
The first leg of the match against Belize is to be played at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Trinidad on Wednesday 15 June with the second leg the following week in Belize. Prior to the international matches the Montserrat squad will play two warm up games in Trinidad. The first is against the leading club side Joe public and the second against the Trinidad & Tobago under 23 Squad.
The Montserrat squad includes Anthony Griffiths of Port Vale in the English League Division 2, Darryl Roach of the Port Melbourne Sharks in Australia and English conference League players Wayne and Alex Dyer. The squad commences training at the football Centre of Excellence in Trinidad tonight (Thursday).” The release is dated June 9, 2011.
Recent research provided us with the following which along very reliable an supported sources. See the following and some excerpts and follow the urls and web sites for full coverage.
Minnows take marks on the road to Rio
(FIFA.com) Monday 13 June 2011
“The first leg of the two-game series will take place at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad as “home” side Montserrat – a volcano and hurricane-plagued island near Antigua in the Lesser Antilles section of Caribbean Sea – have no appropriate venue to stage the event. The return match will be played in Belmopan, Belize on Sunday 19 June.
Both sides are monumental outsiders to reach Brazil 2014. Montserrat have only ever won two games since their first international in 1991 and in 2002 they even earned the dubious, and unofficial, distinction as the worst team in the world when they were beaten by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Currently tied for last place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, the islanders’ highest-ever position, attained in 2006, was 198th, only a marginal boost from their current position.”
The matches begin today and the Montserrat coach Kenny Dyer and other players have been speaking in this other article:
Montserrat’s date with destiny
“With Montserrat’s new football stadium not yet ready to host international matches, Wednesday’s game will take place in the Trinidadian town of Couva.“ It’s a shame because we have a pitch that I’d go as far as to say is one of the best in the region, but the dressing rooms aren’t ready. Hopefully we can cause a shock and play the next round in front of our own fans.”
Then, read this article, which is about Belize football. Here we find issues that in some ways quite similar yet contrasting. This article may well be an eye-opener, especially if the crisis that faces CONCACAF and CFU, FIFA and Trinidad, currently, is carefully followed.
FIFA says Belize vs Montserrat on Wednesday; Belize Government says “NO”
Read here: http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=11325
Finally, also from (FIFA.com) Monday 13 June 2011
Montserrat to kick off preliminary competition for 2014 FIFA World Cup
Read here: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/media/newsid=1451662/index.html?cid=rssfeed&att=
Montserrat national team poses (at practice) courtesy: MFA