Headline — 22 January 2013
The amazing Woodrow West

Belizeans want a win

Contrary to the grossly erroneous propaganda on the FFB website in years past, football is and has been, from “way back when”, the national sport of Belize. Why Belizean football has staggered in progress, while the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, against whom we were very competitive in the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s of the previous century, have made great progress, is a long story that involves years of shortsightedness, corruption and betrayal at the highest level of the sport in Belize. But that is behind us, and we are steadily moving forward now.

Be that as it may, Belizean fans are nevertheless very hard to please, especially some past footballers from that long gone era. They know what we are supposed to be capable of; and therefore they drive a very hard bargain in assessing the performance of our national team.

To most fans who are aware of our recent record in the UNCAF Nations Cup, our 1-nil loss to Costa Rica on Friday was a great achievement, a huge improvement over our last meeting when it was 7-nil, and therefore cause for some celebration. But to the few hard liners, “they played a bucket of s___;” “they can’t even hold the ball;” “they hardly threatened their opponent’s goal;” etc, etc.

We all want our team to win, and we are looking for improvement each time we take the field. But we must face the reality that the process to select our National Team only began last October, and our final National Team selection was only announced in early December. Therefore, as much as we are rallying behind our boys to bring home the victory tomorrow against Nicaragua, it would be unfair to condemn them for any shortcomings on the field, knowing that each and every one of them is giving everything they have to secure the win and a place in the Gold Cup. Ironically, the high expectations of the few harsh critics at home might actually help to convince our players that they have all reason to believe that they deserve to win, after all they have been through.

At present, there is no denying that all the other teams in the Copa Centroamericana are playing a “higher level” of ball than Belize. They have been together, and under a positive football administration much longer than our Belize team. A pity this tournament was not longer; we are getting better, more confident and fluid in our passing with each game. For sure, if we make it to the Gold Cup, by July the Belize squad will be much more formidable. Right now, we are going with our individual talent, athleticism, instincts, desire, hard work, team unity and belief in ourselves, that we deserve this opportunity, and that our time is now.

Nicaragua is a fine team, despite their 2-nil loss to Costa Rica, to whom Belize lost 1-nil, thanks to a heroic performance from Woodrow West in goal. So what? West is a part of Belize; to beat Belize, you have to beat West, and that is not easy. Deon McCaulay is also a part of our Belize team; and you can ask any defender from Central America if they consider him a dangerous striker.

Before the tournament, our Costa Rican coach Le Roy Sherrier Lewis said that our hardest game will probably be Nicaragua. Now we know what he meant. It’s the decisive game, and it’s gonna be rough.

We both want a spot in the Gold Cup. Nicaragua is standing in our way; and we in theirs. A victory for either team tomorrow almost guarantees a trip to the U.S.A. in July.

We believe in you, guys. You gotta believe. There is only one tomorrow, and it’s yours to take. Do what we know you can do, and shut up the hard liners; they’ll be happy if you do. Belizeans just want a win. Les’ go, Belize!!

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