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Marshall Wins BFA Raffle

The draw for the BFA Grand Raffle was conducted on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at the BFA National Centre for Football Development at the Baillou Hill Sporting Complex. Having conducted the sale of tickets since March, all of the sold stubs were placed in a barrel at the field on Saturday, and Genevieve Edwards of the accounting firm Deloitte conducted the draw. The first name out of the barrel, and the winner of the 2008 Mercedes Benz C180 was Livingston Marshall Jr. The second ticket out, and the winner of two tickets to the FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa Final Match was young Alexander Klonaris.


The draw was carried live on Island FM, who conducted a live remote from the BFA facility starting at 4:00 pm and concluding with the draw. BFA President Anton Sealey spoke on air about the association's programmes and initiatives, mentioning the work presently being done at the BFA facility as well as upcoming plans for the continued development of the National Centre. Sealey mentioned that future plans include the construction of additional fields for Beach Soccer and Futsal, to go along with artificial turf field and the natural grass field at the facility at present. Plans to construct office space and dormitories are also in the works, as well as the installation of lights at the artificial turf field. The BFA's first foray into fundraising with the raffle was designed to help generate the necessary funds to complete the plans at the facility, and the President thanked all who supported the raffle by purchasing a tickets. The President also thanked Tyreflex for their support in the raffle and making the car available for this event, Creative Edge Marketing and Sheila Bethel for their tireless and wonderful support in the conduction of the raffle, the accounting firm of Deloitte for providing an accountant to oversee the draw and also his executive team who were present in support during the draw.


When the winning name was announced, Sheila Bethel of Creative Edge contacted the winner by telephone to notify him of his success, and her information was met with shock and disbelief. Mr. Marshall, at the presentation of the keys at Tyreflex on Tuesday, told the BFA Executives and Sheila Bethel that he bought the ticket by chance. He was attending a training session of the men's national team some weeks back and when asked if he had purchased a ticket, did so somewhat reluctantly. He initially asked for two tickets, but decided on three instead, and one of his was the lucky one out of the barrel. He was more than pleased with his prize and was left at the dealership relishing in his good fortune.


The BFA Grand Raffle is the first of the association's effort at fundraising, and with plans in mind to continue the development of the facility as well as the development programmes for youth and national teams, additional funds will be critical to any success. The BFA wishes to thank all persons who supported the raffle and asks that they continue their support in future efforts.



BFA Regional Programmes Off and Running

After the successful conclusion of the Y League season in February, youth football development continued with the commencement of the annual Regional Soccer Centre in New Providence. This programme, which serves as a precursor for the prestigious BFA National Academy in the summer, sees the best players from all clubs in each of the represented categories nominated by their clubs for trials to the Regional programme. Only 22 players in each age category are selected, so clubs were encouraged to only nominate the cream of the crop from within their system to the trials for the four divisions for boys (U-9, U-11, U-13, and U-15) and three divisons for girls (U-11, U-13, and U-15). With improvments made to the organization and administration of programmes such as this on an annual basis, thsi year's Regional Academy got off to its best ever start.

The popularity of the programme is such that it is oversubscribed, and this year, the developments made at the U-9 level were easy to see. Over 70 children were nominated to this age category, for which the appointd coaches had to narrow down to 22 over two weeks. Not an easy task, but certainly one that shows the growth in interest. The technical developments were also easily recognized, so much that some of the players who had been selected last year for this programme were not this year, so fierce was the competition. At the end of the trial period, however 22 players in each of the categories were selected and are now being p ut through a rigorous training programme by the respective coaches. The players not selected, however, were encouraged to continue their individual development, as nominations alone gave an indication as to their potential. Meeting weekly at the BFA National Centre for Football Development in the Bailou Hills Sporting Complex, the various groups train daily, all with the goal to continue the ascenion of Bahamian football in the region. The original version of this programme, when conducted at Hanes Oval and Fort Charlotte in 2000 saw some familiar faces in our national game, when Happy Hall, Dwayne Whylly, Cameron Hepple, Alex Vanderpool-Wallace, Demont Mitchell and others were participants. All are now members of the Bahamas Mens National Team which recently competed, and qualified for the second round, in the FIFA World Cup 2010 SOuth Africa qualifications.

Falling under the genral direction of BFA Technical Director Neider Dos Santos, and overseen by former National team player and coach Wilson Bain, the Regional Soccer Centre got underway March 10, 2008. Trials were conducted for the various age groups for the first two weeks and the programme commenced its training and development March 31, 2008, the week after the Bahamas defeated the British Virgin Islands in World Cup Qualifiers. Appointed coaches to the programme were given direction on the technical aspects of the programme by BFA Technical Director Neider Dos Santos, who was on hand for the commencement of the trial period. The coaches appointed, according to BFA General Secretary Lionel Haven met the criteria for the role as being "capable, able and willing" to lead respective groups. Youth coaches from within the Y league and National Coaches compromise the list of respected coaches for this programme and to date, the effectiveness of their methodology has proven highly successful. Paul Winder (Tambearly School) and Christian Villi (FC Nassau) direct the U-9 boys, Ian Hutchinson (Bahamas U-15 National Coach) leads the U-11 Boys while Daria Adderley (Cavalier FC) leads the U-11 girls. Michael Hooper (Western Warriors) directs the U-13 boys and Vandyke Bethel (Bahamas Womens National Coach) directs the U-13 girls. Hutchinson also directs the U-15 and Bethel doubles up with the U-15 girls, with the various groups meeting different days at the BFA National Centre for Football Development.

As mentioned, the programme has been proven to play a major role in the development of Bahamian football and our national teams, as is evidenced by the fact thart the majority of national team players at all levels at some point came through this programme. With continued development and growth, and advancement in the technical administration, this programme will continue to be a guiding light that leads the way to better football in the Bahamas.


Bahamas Advances To Second Round of FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying

With a dominating performance at the BFA National Centre for Football Centre for Football Development on Sunday, March 30, 2008, the Bahamas Men's National advanvces to the second round of Qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. The Bahamas dominated from the start of the match and, utilizing changes brought about by BFA Technical Director Neider Dos Santos to good effect, controlled for much of the match. The team created chances fro as early as the fourth minute, when central idfielder Connor Sheehan found himself clear with only the goalkeeper to beat. Alas, his shot could not beat the 'keeper, and the BVI held on. With good speed, and quick movement of the ball, the Bahamas created a number of other chances in the first, but all left the throngs of Bahamian spectators wanting as none could find the back of the net.It easn't until the 40th minute, when a powerful header rebounded into the path of teenage forward Michael Bethel, whose shot in reply was clinical. The gave the Bahamas a 1-0 lead that they took into the half-time break.

The second half was more of the same, with the Bahamas dominating the play. More chances were created and it was not long doubled their lead with a goal from Demont Mitchell. This second goal, in the 52nd minute, seemed to seal the fate of the visiting Virgin Islanders, who ironically were the home team on the day, but a lte rally added some excitement to the event. avondale Williams scored the first for the BVI in the 72nd minute ad with virtually no time left on the clock, a dubious penalty was awarded by the referee when the infringement seemed to be on the attacker instead of the goalkeeper. Williams, once again, stepped to the front and converted the spot-kick to tie the match at 2-2. This call and resulting penalty left a sad taste in the mouth of the spectators, but did not prevent the Bahamas from advancing. With FIFA's away goals rule, the 2 scored by the Bahamas in their "away" match.

This now means that the Bahamas will face Jamaica in the second round. Having missed out on progressing last time around and the possibility of facing Mexico, the opportunity to face Jamaica will certainly bring some excitement to Bahamian football. With a young, but capable, team the Bahamas will certainly get a taste of their level in facing Jamaica. There will be no ground given by Jamaica who, when facing many of these same players at U-23 level last October in Haiti lost, and will have something to prove. But having already defeated the "Reggae Boyz", the Bahamas will have this experience to reply.

The road to the FIFA World Cup 2010 continues through the Bahamas for the time being with Jamaica as the next opposition. How long the road lasts will of course be determined by the performances of our team and players. LET'S GO, BAHAMAS!




For further information, please contact Lionel Haven at