SHAYNE Paul has been elected as President of the Gros Islet Football League (GIFL) unopposed for another two-year term as no other candidate put forward a claim to run for the top post at the election which took place on Saturday 4th January 2020 at the Municipal Building in Gros Islet.
Four out of the five affiliates were present; Monchy FC; Northern United FC, Dominators FC and GMC United; while Reduit FC failed to show up.
There is one new comer to the newly elected executive; VOICE reporter and former sports administrator for many years, Anthony De Beauville who was elected unopposed.
Charde Desir retained the post for 1st Vice President after fending off a challenge by former national coach Francis Mc Donald; Desir nosed ahead 3 – 1.
The full slate of officers reads: President – Shayne Paul; 1st Vice President – Charde Desir; 2nd Vice President – Marsha Smith; Secretary – Raejean Montoute; Assistant Secretary – Myron Louis; Treasurer – JardelAuguste; Public Relations – Anthony De Beauville; Trustees – Daran Gaspard and Lavorne Desir.
In his acceptance speech Shayne Paul thanked the affiliates present. “Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who have taken the decision to accept nomination and now serve on our executive. It is with deep pleasure that we look forward to working together as a team for the development of football in Gros Islet and beyond.”
Reviewing 2019 Paul said, “The year 2019 was pretty successful, though the challenges we are faced with including club licensing and ensuring our affiliates follow the mandate of the Saint Lucia Football Association; we can be thankful of what we have accomplished.”
He noted, “We dominated youth football in terms of the Northern Zone Under 11s, 13s, Guardsman Under 14s tournaments, and the zonal tournament where we stood our ground and we have remained champions. At the senior level we won the Blackheart Big 8 Tournament but did not do too well in the knockout stage of that same tournament which Vieux Fort South went on to win for their fourth consecutive Blackheart Tournament. When it came to the SLFA Island Cup, we showed our dominance and depth in our squad and were able to pull off the championship”.
Looking forward to 2020 he said, “We have a lot of plans in place, some of which I can’t disclose right now as you know I have to meet with my new executive.”
He added, “We want to ensure we can produce more student athletes and we want to produce individuals with the ability to play at the semiprofessional level; too many times we produce athletes but they stop right there at Blackheart / Island Cup. We want to ensure our players can move forward; we want them to go abroad and further their trade.”
Development wise Paul said, “We will be opening a High Performance Centre (HPC) / Elite Camp (EC) where we have all the elite players with the potential, players that are serious and understand their calling. We will have them in a coaching programme where we can help them develop, give them the best facilities and coaching and get them ready for opportunities like Free Kick and whatever else presents itself.”
Following the election, football coordinator Marsha Smith, 2nd Vice President said, “Acceptance to serve on the executive is indicative of all sharing the same goals, and as such, a refocused passion and rejuvenating purpose that would inspire our affiliates and our executive to push for more.
“I anticipate a clear baseline to capitalize and redevelop our internal project and strategy logistics and communication systems to increase accountability and transparency with our team. We’ve begun the process of developing a strategic plan that will guide us through our next five years.”