The BVI Men's National Football Team
Photo Credit: Dean "The Sportsman" Greenaway
A wounded British Virgin Islands Football Association (BVIFA) senior team picked up more useful lessons from their latest regional outing as they finished win-less in three matches at the Digicel Caribbean Cup competition in Martinique.
Against host Martinique in the opening match, the team went under 16-0 on September 3.
"The series was very tough, losing the best set of players to injuries," noted coach Avondale 'Avon' Williams.
"Against Martinique, we finished with only eight players on the field, which made it hard to finish strong against professional players who play for France."
During their next encounter two days later, Williams said they were able to regroup, stuck to their game plan, did a little better, but lost to Suriname, 4-0.
In their finale on September 7 against Montserrat, a team two places below them in the CFU rankings, they lost 7-0 as Montserrat ended a 17-year drought, a streak of 21 successive losses against FIFA opponents.
"The height and body strength of our players were no match for our three competitors," Williams observed.
"Montserrat brought in 20 players from England and one plays professionally in Australia. But it was a good experience for our players. Though heart broken, they know why they weren't successful."
In order to meet the challenges ahead and become more competitive, Williams said there must be a long term program to compete with the rest of the Caribbean, something the BVI Football Association is already working on.
Williams said the youth program has to function year round as well.
"We need to have a lot of conditioning, strength, discipline and technical training in our program," he explained. "Preparing for 3-4 months cannot unite a team. Every country we played has professional players and have been preparing year round."