A revamped St Lucia National Team eager to make amends following a poor showing against Jamaica in a recent International Friendly here, played neighboring Martinique to a scoreless draw Wednesday at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
It was a much better showing than the 5-0 drubbing they received at the hands of Jamaica, but the fact St Lucia did not score in two International Friendlies,
and worst yet created very few scoring opportunities in both games, is just one of the many concerns facing the team.
No doubt about it, the lineup change in Wednesday’s game means St Lucia is still a team desperately trying to finding themselves.
At a press conference following the game manager of the St Lucia squad, Valdez James Vance said: “The team we have out here today are the players who are strictly in St Lucia, compared to when we played Jamaica which was a mixture of the foreign based and local based. Today it was really the opportunity to assess the weaknesses and the strength of the team, in preparation for the Windward Islands Tournament we will be participating in towards the end of April this year.”
Valdez is not sure if St Lucia will play anymore friendlies before the tournament but did say: “We will try our best to play as many games as possible, whether it be local or overseas, because that is the only way we can really see what is required, so that we can have the best level of preparation heading into the tournament.”
Commenting on the friendly against Martinique, St Lucia captain, Sheldon Emmanuel said: “It was a hard physical game. Martinique possessed the ball more, but we held our own. You could see we were looking dangerous and got some opportunities.”
A draw is hardly cause for celebration and like I have often said, “a tie is kissing your sister” which in my interpretation means you get little gratification from it. However in this case it meant everything and more to the St Lucia team.
Check out what the captain had to say on that matter: “A draw after we lost 5-0 to Jamaica. I guess playing against a good opponent like Martinique and getting a draw isn’t that bad, because you know we are in a preparation stage.”
Attendance at this game was dismal but then again, the SLFA did very little in the way of promotion. Playing to a small audience does have some effect on players.
Emmanuel agreed. He said: “To me when you play at home and have people come out cheering and supporting you that motivates you, but I guess people do not associate themselves with a losing team.”
The St Lucia Captain feels the only cure for that is to start winning games. Easier said that done.