Saint Lucia
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Team St. Lucia to Play St. Kitts/ Nevis in Home Game of Nation’s League Challenge

SAINT Lucia’s Senior National Men’s team is poised to take on St. Kitts/Nevis in a Concacaf Nation’s League encounter tomorrow (Sunday), at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG] from 7:00 p.m., as the ‘Piton Boys’ look to up their winning stakes.

Prolific Saint Lucian striker Dom Poleon is mobbed by teammates after scoring against Sint Martin
Prolific Saint Lucian striker Dom Poleon is mobbed by teammates after scoring against Sint Martin

On Thursday, at the Venue Football Federation Training Ground, Willemstad, Curacao, Team Saint Lucia defeated Sint Martin convincingly 5-1 in an away encounter and is in the hunt for more glory as they play before home fans.

Saint Lucia began this season’s Concacaf Nations League tournament competing in League B, Group A, with a perfect start as they stunned Sint Martin into submission, following a tight tussle in the earlier stages of the game.

Prolific striker Dom Poleon broke the deadlock in the 45th minute to give Team 758 the lead and converted again in the 48th. minute, before rounding off play with a goal in the 89th minute to complete his hat-trick. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (57th min.) and Ridel Junior Stanislaus (75th min) netted the other goals.

C Amatkarilo scored for Saint Martin in the 51st minute.

Team Saint Lucia plays in League B, Group A alongside Sint Martin, St Kitts/ Nevis, and Guadeloupe.

President of the Saint Lucia Football Association [SLFA] Inc. Lyndon Cooper noted that Saint Lucia is committed to hosting these games as part of the regional federation’s qualifiers for the World Cup. Two other home matches will be played at the DSCG, in October and November.

Cooper also disclosed that Saint Lucia will host matches from the Women’s World Cup format, which is being hosted “for the first time in the Confederation.” On September 22, Team Saint Lucia takes on Cuba at the DSCG.

Noting that it took some time for the Saint Lucia National Senior Women’s team to participate in a regional competition, he said, the development of female football on the island “has paid dividends for us over the last 5 to 7 years. We came at a juncture when the Women’s Football Programme was established in 2023 …and we were basically about one year behind with our programme to re-enter senior competition for women regionally and internationally.”

Nonetheless, said Cooper, the SLFA decided that despite the costs to be incurred “we will be part and parcel of the Women’s World Cup 2023 and will continue to provide the necessary resources…as we have done for the men over the last five years.”

Due to the capacity and economic resources of a small island nation like Saint Lucia, the SLFA President said it was not possible to compete in the majority of regional games. However, he added, the SLFA remains committed to playing at least four international matches in any cycle within four years.

Cooper called for public support and participation in the two upcoming games this month at the DSCG.

Representative of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), former national player and soccer professional Earl “Ball Hog” Jean noted that sports associations on the island cannot do it alone, and thus the NLA’s input in helping “to rescue our kids from the dangers of society, and we speak about the stories of neglect and abuse…but what are we as a people doing to help our youngsters.”

With sports talent abounding in Saint Lucia to produce athletes of the ilk of Julien Alfred who performed commendably in the recent World Athletics Championships, Jean stressed that there is potential in Saint Lucia “to help develop that quality of young talent that we have…and it’s for us now to take that serious step and try to put emphasis on financing for our young players.”