The Barbados Football Association (BFA) senior men’s team is strengthening its arsenal ahead of the Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
And one of those steps was ensuring members of the team destined for the Dominican Republic are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Members of the senior team, most in their 20s, and officials were vaccinated on Wednesday at the Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic in Wildey.
First out the blocks was President Randy Harris who said he had made up his mind to be vaccinated given his age.
“I do quite a bit of travelling when things are normal, and I want to be ahead of the game when things ease off and we’re in a much better place,” he said.
While acknowledging there was some initial apprehension by the players, he said they were able to cast their concerns aside.
“The players themselves at first were a bit apprehensive, but they were able to cast their concerns aside and thought it would be in their best interest to take the vaccine since we would be travelling for an extended time,” he said.
The Randy Harris-led delegation, which leaves by private charter on March 10 for the Dominican Republic, will set up base at Cap Cana for 12 days in a bubble at a training camp until March 22, before battling Panama in their first qualifier on March 25th at 8 p.m., followed by Anguilla three days later at 7:30 p.m.
Barbados’ number one custodian Kishmar Primus, who was the first player to receive his vaccination, said it was effortless and is encouraging younger persons to take the “jab”.
“We know how the world is, so, for now, I can go back home and spread the message to the youth and everyone around me,” he said after leaving the recovery room.
Primus said he was also looking to face off against Panama and Anguilla having not played any form of competitive football for almost a year.
“I’ve been sticking to what the trainers want until we get on the field when we go next week. It is now a matter of staying focus for the next three to four weeks and get the job done,” he said.
Primus’ teammate, defender Carl Hinkson echoed similar sentiments.
“I feel fine after getting the vaccine and I would encourage people to go and get it. The science is showing that all countries are being aggressive with getting their populations vaccinated or moving back to normalcy faster, so it is something I would recommend,” he said.
As for training, he said it had been different with the new regime, but the team had been working alongside their trainers to ensure they remained up to par.
“It’s been different but obviously guidelines have been put in place that we can still get in the work we need to, and now it’s just time to look forward and make the most of what we have in front of us,” he said. (BFA)