Women’s football could soon see a much-needed push in an effort to lift the game.
This was revealed by Barbados Football Association’s President Randy Harris, who was speaking during a press briefing for the upcoming Guardian Group Youth Football Competition, which kicks off on September 21.
Currently, there is no youth football competition for the women, something Harris said they would be looking to rectify in the very near future.
“We have a girls program in our technical development, but there are not many girls to make a competition. We have an elite Under-13 team, but the numbers of girls at this time it won’t make sense of having a competition.
“What we are trying to do is to get into the schools because there are girls at the secondary level that play football but for some reason or the other, they are not members of our clubs. That is something we have to look into,” he said.
While Harris admitted the present situation was not ideal, he said they were looking to hold a similar tournament like the Guardian Group Youth Football Competition for the females.
“All it does is it gives us a cadre of 25 to 30 players and during the course of development some are going to leave. If we had 80 or 100 girls we could split them up and do something similar to the Guardian Group Youth Competition and they would compete. The BFA is going to try through Concacaf to help with promotions for women’s football, not only in Barbados but in the region,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the BFA’s Youth Committee, Renaldo “Pee Wee” Gilkes said there was still a growing number of females within the youth game.
“Last year through the Concacaf NextPlay project we had the Cup Competition which was won by All Saints Primary. One of the stipulations of the competition was that two girls must be a part of the squad, where one of them has to be on the field. As this program expands, what we intend to do is to include more girls which should help to roll the numbers targeting the primary schools from ages seven to 12.
“If you were at the Turf for the U-17 championship, our girls didn’t qualify. They finished joint first but missed out on goal difference. It is because of tournaments like this girls have more opportunities to play,” he said.
Moreover, Gilkes noted that the introduction of the Future Tridents Development Program at the Under-13 level would help push the game of football for women.
“I believe that his particular program, based on the attention it has received from the FA, will produce the quality and type of footballers we will be proud of within another four to five years and beyond,” he said.