Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Football is dead - Tomlinson ... Westmoreland football in danger of losing a season

Published:Wednesday | January 4, 2017 | 1:15 AMPaul Clarke
An earlier photo of work being done on the playing surface at the Llandilo Sports Complex in Westmoreland. The rehabilitation exercise has grounded due to a dispute between workers and the project’s managers at INSPORTS.
Westmoreland FA president Everton Tomlinson
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Western Bureau:

The new year brings with it a worsening cry from Everton Tomlinson, the Westmoreland Football Association president, who is once again lamenting the lack of effort to assist his administration in its bid to develop football in the parish.

Key to his vision is the rehabilitation of the playing field at the association-owned Llandilo Sports Complex, and while work has started, it has stalled dramatically, throwing the entire season into doubt, as the parish has no other quality playing fields they can utilise.

According to Tomlinson, work which began several months ago by the Institute of Sports (Insports) in adding marl to level-off the playing surface, has hit a snag and he is unsure when those rehabilitation work will be completed.

“We are struggling right now because Insports came in and started some work but they have also failed to pay workers and because of that the work has stopped,” said Tomlinson.

“The problem is compounded by the fact that in this big parish, there is no other field we can use.”

“Frome is home to a number of Super League clubs and Reno play home games there in the Premier League, which leaves the window for our competitions very tight,” he said.

An official at Insports, who requested anonymity, told The Gleaner that the agency was having challenges making payments to workers, but that the situation is being dealt with, while referring further information be gleaned from the Ian Andrews, the Insports chairman. However, calls to his mobile phone went unanswered yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Westmoreland FA-operated Major League, Division One, Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13 competitions are in danger of not being played at all this season, causing a major worry for the association’s affiliates and sponsors.

“We are very worried and it is a cause for concern because I know factually, that this could never happen in Kingston,” reasoned Tomlinson.

“Rural parishes like Westmoreland are suffering because we will not get the attention of the political directorate and the other agencies associated with sports development,” he said.

“It is increasingly sad and it continues to infuriate me as an administrator that nobody can see the full value of developing proper facilities for the young people of this country.”

Tomlinson pointed out that the systemic deficiencies in the overall development of sports, particular football is sending the sport to an early grave.

The long-standing football administrator insists that those charged with such responsibilities must find new methods and dream big to secure the future for young people.

“I am tired of going to funerals of young men, who played in our age group competitions, represent their schools at football but are killed as a consequence of gun war because there is nothing in the football for them,” stated Tomlinson.

“This is really the fact. And for Insports not being too keen on completing what they have started, it leaves me to wonder what is next,” he said. "Football is indeed dead and nobody is seeing it fit to try resurrect the beautiful game."