January 24 2003
BVI hires new coach, will meet Dominica in World Cup warm up
BY DEAN GREENAWAY
The BVI Football Association has hired a Jamaican coach as it begins
preparations to host St. Lucia on Feb. 22 in the qualifying rounds of the
2006 World Cup. The association has also scheduled three friendly
international matches with Dominicaon Jan. 28 and 30 at the A. O. Shirley
Recreation Grounds, and on Feb. 2 at the Valley Recreation Grounds on
Virgin Gordaas a tune up. French St. Martin will host the BVI on Feb. 6.
Association president Kenrick Grant said in hiring Michael Tulloch, they
are trying to ensure that the team gets as much technical assistance as
possible in terms of in preparing for what will be the highest form of
competition they will ever participate in. "We want to make sure they have
the best help that can prepare them," Grant said. "This new coach is
bringing his expertise into the program along with the local coaches to get
the team to that next level."
Tulloch will see the team competing on Wednesday against Dominica.
Association Secretary General Llewelyn 'Tudor' Dasent said Dominica was
quick to respond to invitations at were also sent to Puerto Rico, St.
Martin and Anguilla, seeking the warm up match. "Earlier I had spoken to
the Dominica Football Association president and former Prime Minister
Patrick John during a meeting in Martinique and he sent an email confirming
that they would come," Dasent said.
Dasent said Dominica is a very strong team. "Windward Island football teams
are very strong football teams over the years and I think they will give us
a good warm up in preparation for St. Lucia. We really think we can hold
St. Lucia if we get our mental and physical fitness together."
Tulloch has been focusing on conditioning to get the team to a level where
they can compete effectively, after noticing players are weak in that area.
"It doesn't make sense that you can compete for 45 minutes and the other
half, you are walking because you blow up," Tulloch said last week. "I
intend to push them physically to a level where they can compete for the
full 90 minutes."
Along with conditioning, professionalism in the attitude of the players was
another area Tulloch saw needed attention. "That is very much lacking at
this level. This is not club level where you can fool around. You have to
be focused mentally and you have to be committed," Tulloch explained. "I'm
finding that some of the guys are not used to this level, the intensity of
training. It's a new thing for them. I have to get them mentally focused on
that, because when you are representing your country, it's an honor. You
should treat it as such."
Grant described St. Lucia as 'tough opponent.' "Coming from a larger
population, they will have a better pool of players. They have players that
are playing professionally, but, it's football. It's still a ball game.
Anything can happen once you prepare well and stick to our strategy, we
will be able to compete and even win."
Grant said the aim will be to play a defensive game against St. Lucia who
they will meet again on Mar. 28 on their home turf. "We'll try to prevent
them from scoring and catch them on the counter attack. That's the approach
we'll have to take, because we know they are a good side and we'll have to
put them to the test," Grant said. "We have to be cautious not to concede
too many home goals. If we allow them to score, it gives them a better
advantage when we go back to St. Lucia. We want to keep the score as low as
possible, but we don't' want them to score. We have to develop our attack
so we can get them on the counter."
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