FLAWED POLICY Owner of the Phoenix football academy, guardian, agent and manager of Leon Bailey one of the best young football talent in Europe, Craig Butler, has come out swinging at current Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) director Vin Blaine, as well as the federation’s failed policy of scouring the lower leagues of England in search of eligible and willing players to represent Jamaica . Butler was emphatic in stating that in pondering his role and the role of his young charges in the future of Jamaica’s football, he will have nothing to do with Blaine. Butler has indicated that he wants the job of Jamaica’s director of football. The outspoken football man also used the term ‘dregs’ to refer to some of the players recruited from England by the JFF. Of course, Butler is being roundly chastised for his lack of tact, and political correctness in making these forthright pronouncements. To speak out publicly of his desire to have Blaine’s job is premature and inappropriate, while he is being accused of disrespecting the national representatives by calling them ‘dregs’. All this while the substantive and fundamental issue at stake, which is the necessary and inevitable changing of the thinking about the way forward for our football, is getting lost in the firestorm of yet another exercise of majoring in the minor. Butler’s claim to fame is in his conviction, belief and success in developing young Jamaican players. His entire ideology of identifying and grooming young players and teaching them the basics of the game before seeking to export their talents to the lucrative leagues of Europe, contrasts sharply with what has obtained within the corridors of power in the JFF for the last decade and a half. The difference is simple but fundamental. Butler is about believing and developing young Jamaican talent, while the ‘old order’ has shown nothing but disdain and disrespect for local players, which manifested itself in the flawed and failed policy of begging half good, half-committed players from England and elsewhere to come and represent Jamaica. We are now at a crossroads with our football, and while Butler is totally in sync with the modern trends and football best practices, the JFF leadership has been caught napping. They are basically left with no choice but to announce a cliched roundabout turn, and spout a new found confidence in the abilities of young Jamaican players. One wonders how genuine this new-found confidence is. With that kind of paradigm shift in the thinking around the football, Butler taking over the role of director of football from Blaine would make a lot of sense. If Blaine is hurt by the way things are evolving, that represents a minor personal inconvenience in the pursuance of the wider good. As for Butler’s reference to some of the foreign born recruits as ‘dregs,’ of course it is harsh and probably inappropriate, but again we are creating a storm in a teacup. This is clouding the more fundamental message – that the time is at hand for us to formulate policies, programmes and philosophies that will enhance the development of our talented young players and stop the wholesale sponging of overseas journeymen. Fundamentally, Butler is right. He may be a little eccentric, arrogant and unorthodox, but again, dwelling on those human imperfections is another debilitating exercise of majoring in the minor, while missing the fundamental, which is the progressive winds of change that are currently engulfing local football.
…68 parcels to be granted by SeptemberThe Guyana Forestry Commission has been flocked with 459 applications from interested stakeholders after concessions for 68 parcels of land were advertised.This disclosure was made by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman and Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), James Singh on Thursday, which suggests that interest still prevails in the traditional sectors.Generally, the Commission would advertise areas available for allocation and after the applications are received, they are screened by a Technical Sub-Committee for the requisite criteria.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman“We would first advertise areas available for allocation, having checked those areas, and verify that they have stocking. We normally advertise for one month. We receive applications. The applications are screened and processed and then they are reviewed by the GFC Board, Technical Sub-Committee, which has a series of criteria that they use to evaluate the applications. Those criteria are public. The Technical Sub-Committee would then make its recommendations to the full GFC Board which would then approve the award of concessions,” the Commissioner explained.The process, Singh said, would take some two months. Since they are in the reviewing stage, the applications should be granted by September.“That process would take between one or two months. Currently, the Board’s Technical Sub-Committee is in the process of reviewing the 459 applications. Hopefully in September, we’ll be able to make the award.”During World Environment Day last June, the Government said it was looking to make reforestation a mandatory requirement for loggers and miners applying for concessions, so as to preserve and sustain its forests.President David Granger had emphasised that protecting the environment is an obligation, not an option. It was noted that Guyana is proud to be part of the “Guiana Shield,” which is considered to be the “lungs of the world”. To this end, he underscored the importance of safeguarding the country’s forests from harmful activities, such as mining and logging.“Mining and logging are two of the principal contributors to deforestation. Small-scale mining alone accounted for about 89 per cent of deforestation over the past three years. So small-scale mining has a large-scale impact on the environment. Deforestation by both mining and logging has scarred our rainforests with craters. These wastelands result in further land degradation of the exposed land. Guyana’s forestry and mining laws will be strengthened to make re-forestation and land reclamations conditional for the approval of mining and logging concessions,” the Head of State posited.
Fort St. John youth will use their talents to keep Brazilian kids in school. The North Peace Secondary School is holding a Talent Show and Art Auction on Saturday, with all proceeds going to a school in Olinda, Brazil. – Advertisement -17 year-old Kimmie Gulevich says the idea stems from a “Me to We” conference held in September. Students from the School District 60 pledged to hold a ‘Global Event’, and focused on fundraising for kids in need. [asset|aid=2591|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=163233bf0de3c2d465c879027ab9c587-Kimmie Gulevich 1_2_Pub.mp3] Kids that attend the Brazilian school live in the slums of Olinda, and education is usually their only refuge.Advertisement By Christine Rumleskie The North Peace students hope to raise $3,000 for the school. It takes $50 a day to operate the facility in Olinda, so the school could be fully-operational for two months, if the students make their goal.Tickets to the event are $5.00 each, and include access to the talent show and art auction. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. at the North Peace Secondary School.