Wrong perception bedevils Hanover FA - Oates
First vice-president of the Hanover Football Association, Craig Oates, is dismissing suggestions that the less-than-two year-old administration, led by Sheridan Samuels and of which he is a pivotal fixture, has failed to live up to expectations.
Oates laid out a raft of planned undertakings by the FA and has listed a few accomplishments he said is proof enough that the association is doing well, in spite of several troubling issues that still need attention.
"We are a young administration, in terms of how long we have been on the job, and I would say, so far, we have done a decent job for the parish," said Oates.
"We are currently in discussion with a few private firms in trying to secure additional sponsorship for our competitions. These are ongoing, but we believe it will be successful as we seek to build the football product in Hanover," he said.
The lingering question of non-payment of prize money to parish champions Jericho Rangers FC has embarrassed the association, but Oates told The Gleaner that contrary to popular beliefs, the association has the money, but took a decision to wait until the awards ceremony to hand over the cheque.
"That is the best way to do it. We want, as an association, to do things right. Professionalism is important, and so we wanted things to be good in all respects, so that is why we held the cheque. But I know that we will now have to expedite things," said Oates.
There is a view that the association is paralysed and unable to function fully, but Oates said that is mere perception. The much-talked-about youth football programme, he said, is ongoing, with regular clinics held across the parish. In addition, the Hanover knockout is set to begin in March, but it requires further funding.
A reorganising of clubs affiliated with to the association is still being undertaken in order to streamline and make more effective the football product in the parish.
Oates pointed out that almost a million dollars of debt from the various clubs has been written-off, giving the clubs more freedom.
"This debt write-off is the first of its kind in Jamaica, as far as I know," reasoned Oates. "But it's only part of the solution. We need now to begin to have more responsible club owners and administrations, and we at the association are doing our part."