The Antigua & Barbuda Football Association is celebrating the successes of four of its female football players making their mark in the sport at two colleges in the United States.
Gwendolyn Salmon, Executive member of the ABFA responsible for female football is extremely elated for the players stating that many persons helped in the process.
“I am in high spirits with the progress of the ladies at the Colleges,” Salmon said.
“I would like to thank everyone who was part of the process in getting the ladies into College to play at this level , especially their Families , Greenbay Hoppers Football Club , Wadadli Five P’s and the ABFA Secretariat.”
“The ABFA is looking at sending four players to college annually.
“This concept will help the National Team, as demonstrated by our President Everton Gonsalves, who strongly believes that education and football must coexist.
“The FA will continue to play a pivotal role in developing female football in Antigua & Barbuda, working with the Schools, Academies and Clubs.
The four are freshmen.
Three of the players, Argell London, Devikka Tittle and Heidi Thomas attend Bryan & Stratton College, Syracuse New York while Amelia Greene is enrolled at South Carolina University.
In their first season, all the Antiguans have contributed significantly to their respective school’s soccer season.
Chief among the players is London, a striker awarded MVP of her conference with 12 goals and 5 assists in 11 games played in the fall.
London had a four game streak in October/November where she had seven goals including three consecutive double strikes. Tittle, daughter of former Leeward Islands cricketer and footballer along as well as Thomas, sister of international striker Peter “Big Pete” Byers play alongside London.
Thomas is a defender while Tittle occupies the midfield.
Assistant coach of national champions Lime Old Road Chesley Browne said that he knew that these players especially London who started her career at a very early age.
“I first saw her (London) when she was about nine years of age and she was very impressive since then,” Browne stated.
London attended Jennings Secondary School where she led that institution to five championships, at the same time representing Sap football club.
Later London transferred to Lady Hoppers taking her tremendous abilities of finding the back of the net with her.
“She is a natural goal scorer,” Browne said.
“Even at the age of eleven she knew exactly what she needed to do to score even playing against boys older than she was.”
Greene, formerly of 5 P’s Wadadli FC, a striker at South Carolina with eight goals and two assists in 20 games has been named to the All Regional team in her first year at the school.
To complement its program the ABFA will host a College Fest in May in an attempt to promote and encourage more local players to attend US colleges and universities.
Four colleges have already confirmed participation and will be in Antigua in May 2012 for a week.
The workshop (fest) will include a number of Female coaches who will be working with the coaches and administrators of the teams that participate in the ABFA Woman’s League scheduled to kick off on March 31st 2012
In preparation of the upcoming event, the ABFA has initiated a Saturday morning training program for those players who will take part in the workshop.
It’s the ABFA’s intention to have an ongoing, strong and robust female program that will develop mature individuals capable of representing Antigua & Barbuda football overseas.
The ABFA believes that this program will make for a better national program that will lift the status of female football at home and abroad.