A Barbadian with close to three decades of coaching experience has thrown his hat in the ring for the position of Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) technical director.
Allan Greaves, a former technical director of the British Virgin Islands believes he has something to offer the Randy Harris-led Barbados football administration.
During a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY, the 53-year-old Greaves said he applied for several reasons and shared his overall views on what he thinks is required to be the next technical director of the BFA.
“I am from Barbados, I love football and anything I think I can do to help advance football in Barbados is one of the reasons I applied.
“This is my 27th year of coaching, so just out of pride and the opportunity to improve football in the country is something I always wanted to do,” Greaves said.
As for his credentials that will put Greaves in contention for the full-time job, he holds a FIFA Grassroots certificate, KNVB (Dutch FA) Youth Certificate, USSF ‘A’ licence and a UEFA ‘A’ licence. As to what it will take for the development of local football, Greaves explained that while he is unable to speak on that because he is not based directly in Barbados, he noted that lots of collaboration is needed for the greater good of Barbados.
“I can’t tell you what needs to be done because quite honestly I am not there on a day-to-day basis, so I think it would be unfair for me to say this is what needs to be done.
“Anyone that I am assuming would come into this job whether they are there living in Barbados now or someone that is coming in for the future, hopefully would look to collaborate and build as many bridges with local coaches, local clubs, the local agencies, to get them to buy into this is where we can go to. Now with that being said this is my 27th year of coaching and I have been fortunate to be doing this in a number of different countries,” Greaves stated.
He further insisted that the focus needed to be on youth development.
“One of the things that I always focus on when it comes to development is youth. So, is there a platform in place for youth development and then is there a platform in place for youth development for everybody? Boys, girls, special needs, all those things in place I think it is very important,” he added.
Greaves, who played professionally in the 1990s for Philadelphia Freedom but never had the chance to represent Barbados, spoke about the importance of coaching education.
“One of the main reasons why I have been coaching for 27-years I have been fortunate early in my career to take the coaching courses that were available. Some people thought it was not necessarily as important and luckily for me, it was paramount to where I am today.
“I think coaching education, referees, licensing, making sure that the officials have the proper kind of qualification, is necessary. It doesn’t affect anyone’s opinion or value that they bring because they don’t have a licence but by having all of these different licences attached to your name, gives you more credibility. One of the things it says is that you are willing to go out there and become educated and learn more about the game,” Greaves said.
When it comes to playing for schools, clubs and representing the national team, the former technical director of the Greater Chester Valley Soccer Association in Philadelphia does not see it as an issue.
“I think representing your school is very important. There is pride in representing your school whether it is just bragging rights from whatever neighbourhood you come from, I think representing your school is very important.
“For national teams that doesn’t happen until youth 13, 15, 17, so I don’t see why there should be a conflict necessarily in representing your school and representing your nation because they are separate events.
“Should you only represent your school and not do club? I think that is probably more of a personal choice. I don’t know the set-up in Barbados, so I can’t say if you are going to get better coaching in a school environment or a club environment so, I can’t speak to that,” Greaves explained.
One of the biggest highlights of Greaves’ coaching career was with FC Delco in Philadelphia and seeing some of the players including Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen and former Barbados goalkeeper Keasel Broome go on to do well.
Born and raised in Black Rock, St. Michael, Greaves who spent his formative years in London before migrating to Ardmore, Pennsylvania, said he visited Barbados 12 times in the last 15 years and was therefore not necessarily ignorant to the happenings locally when it comes to local football.
In addition, Greaves is a good friend of founder and head coach of Pro-Shottas Club Greg Castagne and they have been working over the years to develop footballers in Barbados.
“I try to stay connected with some of the things happening in Barbados. So, I have some knowledge, it is not like I am completely ignorant to what is going on there but that being said I believe the role of a technical director is to make an assessment about what is needed for football development and then implement that.
“Whether I am in Philadelphia, whether I am in BVI or Indonesia, you first need to come in and assess what is going on before you can make a determination of what can help move the program forward. That is not something you can do yourself but in collaboration with others.
“I think this is a great opportunity for myself or anyone else during this particular time in the football region with the 2026 World Cup being awarded to the United States, Mexico and Canada. So, whoever gets this next position is going to have to think about those medium to long term projects. How you engage and help develop the national team,” Greaves said.