'Antigua local ballers can't match top Caribbean teams' - Benna Boys TD holds firm despite controversy

By Sports Desk January 08, 2020

Antigua and Barbuda football technical director Rolston Williams has stuck to his guns despite heavy criticism following his insistence that locally-based players were not good enough to match the region’s best teams.

Williams stoked the flames of discontent recently, following claims that the country would have to turn to its internationally based players if it is to compete with the likes of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada.

“I don’t care who bash and who make their negative comments, I am dealing with the reality because you’re looking at teams like Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada who [have] gone to the Gold Cup with 15 overseas players. Suriname brought in the same amount so why are being naïve to say that we can make it on our own when we know it’s difficult?” Williams told the Good Morning Jojo Show.

The Benna Boys recently missed out on qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Jamaica.  On that occasion, the team had featured a number of locally-based players.

“We had the Barracuda [professional team] that were playing 20 games in a season. The players came home and they were playing 18, so that’s 38 games they played in one year, and that’s the same amount of games the English Premier League is playing; but still, we brought in players,” he said.

“Now, we don’t have any Barracuda so the players are only playing amateur football. So why can we do it on our own now and when we had better players and more seasonal players, we did not think we could do it on our own? We still brought in players, but all of a sudden we can do it on our own with all amateur players,” he added.

 

 

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    Shelton, who was a prolific goal scorer for the country’s national team, holds the record for the most goals after registering 35 goals in 75 appearances.  32 of his goals came in matches that the team won. The deceased player began his career for the national team against Saint-Martin in 2005 and created history by being the first man to score four goals on debut.  His final goal for Jamaica came against Guatemala in 2012.

     “Shelton was a goalscorer of repute on who Jamaica depended on for many victories,” the release read.

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