Offers come in following successful College Combine in Antigua

Published on 16 December 2021

Action from the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association College Combined. (Photo: Takumi Media)

St. JOHN’S, Antigua (December 16, 2021)—If the measure of success for the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) following the just-concluded college combine was players receiving offers; participants rising to the occasion; the identification of stellar student-athletes who can aid the country’s competitiveness; establishing relationships with scores of US-based universities; and having the event go according to plan, then the association ticked all the boxes.

ABFA Technical Director Sowerby Gomes said there were 21 offers immediately following the December 12-14 combine, with an expectation that the number would, at least, double in the coming days.

The ABFA whittled down the number of players in attendance from over 200 to 90 over the course of a few weeks, in what Gomes says was a competitive field. The final cut—comprised of 57 males and 33 females—were on display for a combination of scouts and coaches totaling 60, with 15 of them present and the others following virtually.

Gomes classified the combine as a fillip for the ABFA and the players.

“I feel very motivated and encouraged with what happened over the course of three days. What went good was our preparedness; that was the major factor,” Gomes said, noting that the players were at the top of their games.

“We have 21 offers, and we have coaches and scouts still analyzing the footage. Also, our technical team is putting together footage for scouts in Germany, so we expect more good news,” Gomes said.

In addition to the scholarships, the combine set the bar for hopefuls, one of them as young as 12.

“What this has done for the young athletes is that they start building the experience, and they start to see the level they need to rise to and what they need to do. This was really good for them,” Gomes added.

Amongst the challenges, Gomes said, was the limited talent pool of female players. He envisages the combine being biennial, and said the ABFA would invite eligible players from the sub-region to participate.