Hanover FA charts new direction
WESTERN BUREAU:The new Hanover Football Association, headed by two of the parish's stalwart football minds in Sheridan Samuels (president) and Craig Oates (first vice president), are plotting a new course that is based on building the basic structure from the bottom up, a deep setated plan that has youth football at its core.
"Over the years, this FA has faced a number of criticisms because of poor infrastructure, bad playing fields and poor organisation. It is now the right time to tackle these troubling issues in order to get our football back to a place of pride and glory," said Oates.
The place to which he alluded is top flight football, which has eluded the parish's teams for more than two decades. In fact, the last team to have played in the national premier league out of Hanover was Legend FC in the mid-90s.
"Since that time, no club from the parish has even been close to qualifying and that is something we want changed, although with the proposed franchise system we aren't sure yet how it will affect us as a parish."
Before Legend, Sandy Bay FC made a run in the 1970s. Third World did likewise in the early 1990's.
But the drought has persisted since Legend were relegated, with Logwood FC, Sandy Bay and Lucea FC at various times competing in the Western Confederation Super League without success.
Oates attributes the protracted premier league drought to poor club structure.
To alter the failures, his association has made an array of policy changes. This includes club reorganisation and realignment, football development, rehabilitation of football fields and the training and retraining of referees and club administrators.
"We have also taken the move to strategically concentrate the football on three fields only in our Major League at Orchard, Logwood and at the Watson Taylor Park. We did so because the football in the parish was severely diluted," Oates said.
"We want to change the way the business of football is carried out in this parish, starting with our youth system," he added.