Women’s football is expected to take on a new look in Barbados, says Nicole McKenzie, head of the Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) Women’s Committee.
Leading up to the BFA’s elections held this past Sunday at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, a lot of candidates touched on the fact that women’s football in the island has been neglected.
During a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY, McKenzie, who was elected for a second term on the BFA executive and has served as head of women’s football for the past two years under president Randy Harris, said the committee always had plans but they never came to fruition.
“We had some plans that did not come to fruition because of COVID-19 and because all the stakeholders were not on the same page. As in when the BFA (board) was ready and had a plan, the clubs say they weren’t ready, they didn’t have the girls training. So, it wasn’t as though the BFA wasn’t doing anything and that’s the reason why.
“We have some plans and I don’t want to go into too much or release too much information beforehand. But Mr Harris had come up with a workable plan for the women and there are some exciting things to come for the women. But that is our main focus,” McKenzie said.
A former player for Genesis Football Club and someone who has been heavily involved in the women’s football, McKenzie is elated to have regained her position. She noted that it is always a pleasure to serve and to be in a position to help make decisions and create change.
Persons like the newly elected first-time treasurer Christian Renwick who has women’s football at heart and desires to see its revival is expected to come on board and assist. According to McKenzie veteran coach Richard ‘Juggy’ Forde is also expected to play a part in developing the ladies’ game.
McKenzie who in the past managed the Barbados Under-17 and senior women’s teams would like to see Barbadian females make it as far as a World Cup one day.
She explained that Barbadian players have the ability and that with work which is required in some areas she believes they could go far.
“I have seen them go to regional competitions and do very well. I have also been the manager of the women’s national team Under-17 girls and senior women’s, so I have seen the girls in competitions and I have seen their ability. They are capable of a lot.
“Some of the things that I think might have hampered us from going any further is late training and not enough training to prepare them. Sometimes we go up against teams that they have been training together for years. So, I think that is one of the areas that we want to change. Get the girls in training and continue training long enough that they gel and get a rhythm. They know each other long enough, so they don’t have to wonder if I send this ball here what they are going to do with it, and that is one of the things that has been hindering us.
“The girls have the ability. There are lots of young girls out there playing football that have the ability to take us as far as the World Cup. It is not going to happen tomorrow or next year but we have some young upcoming stars that I believe with the right training and the right directives, they can take us there, “ Mckenzie said.
She added: “There has always been an interest but one of the things is that number one, the biggest hindrance is parents. Obviously, there is the stigma attached to football, it is dangerous, the type of girls that play football and that has been the biggest hindrance. Girls are always ready and willing but it is all the other things.”