While being praised for their success, commitment and perseverance throughout a challenging 2020 season, players of the We United Football Club have been admonished not to become laid-back as many players do when they gain some level of success and applause.
President of the Dominica Football Association (DFA) Glen Etienne issued this advice in an address delivered at the club’s prize giving ceremony for 2020 at the Castle Bruce Primary School on February 6, 2021.
Two of the club’s players – goalkeeper Raleighson Pascal and Club Captain Michael Gaspar are currently training with the national senior men’s team for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers and were both recently nominated for DFA awards.
“Your hard work really contributed to a successful 2020 season and you are here today to reap the benefits of your hard labour. Don’t become lackadaisical and think you have already arrived at your pinnacle. Too many players are fooled into believing that the applause of men means that you have attained mastery of your craft. I admonish you to continue spending time in your growth. Invest in your development,” Etienne said.
“There’s no reason why any of you should go into a league unfit. Make use of your terrain and train hard. As a player, I took pride in deciding on my fitness and never depended on a coach to do it for me. You have to take charge of your fitness and even your technical development. If you do, then you will be well on your way to becoming a household name in Dominica,” he urged them.
Though among the youngest football clubs on the island, the president commended the We United Football Club for being one of the most “impactful” and “impressive” clubs in Dominica. He said that such organizations are pivotal in the development of the sport of football.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of clubs in advancing our vision for football development on the island. Clubs like yours play a critical role in shaping and refining the skills and attitudes of its players, thus presenting quality players for national representation,” he stated.
Etienne said that the DFA was pleased with the club’s accomplishments in such a short space of time and its “aggressive thrust” in pursuing the best for its players.
“Although there are grounds to cover still, and room for improvement in developing the players’ tactical awareness, I believe your hard work, effort and commitment in developing your players were remarkable and worthy of applause,” the DFA president said.
Meanwhile, Manager of the club, Yvette Laurent, thanked players of the premier and first division teams for putting in the work despite the limitations of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. She lauded their work ethic and also made special mention of the women’s and under 15 boys’ teams who, although they didn’t compete in any DFA leagues due to the pandemic, “were still a part of the club’s success.”
“I believe it is important to show our players that we appreciate their efforts and to remind them that hard work brings positive reward. Though we did not win the premier league and division one league championships this year, we have done extremely well,” she also said.
Awards presented at the ceremony for players in the DFA 2020 Premier League were as follows:
Best goal keeper – Ralieghson Pascal
Best defender:- Lenon Bannis
Best striker – Michael Gasper
Best midfielder – Ashwan Hill
Scorer of most goals – Michael Gasper
Most improved player – Dale Dangleben
Most disciplined player – Philson Lockhart
Best goal of the season – Elisha Rolle
Player of the year 2020 – Michael Gasper
For players in the DFA 2020 Division One League, the awards given were:
Best goalkeeper – Glen Dubique
Best defender – Dale Dangleben
Best midfielder- Roosevelt Coipel
Best striker – Randel Coipel
Most improved player – Lyan Edwards
Most Disciplined player -Dale Dangleben
Best goal of the season- Jervon Henry
Player of the year- Dale Dangleben
The three most outstanding players in the DFA 2020 Recovery Cup were:
Lenon Bannis – 1st
Ralieghson Pascal – 2nd
Philson Lockhart – 3rd
Awards were also given for regularity at trainings and team spirit for both divisions.
For the DFA’s 7-V-7 Day Festival for women, awards were bestowed on the following players:
Most improved player – Amanda Bannis
Team spirit – Claudell Nicholas
Special awards were given to Lenon Bannis for leadership and to Ralieghson Pascal and Michael Gasper for excellence.
In addition, some executive members were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the club. They were Yvette Laurent – Manager, Kenny Jno Charles – Head Coach, Clevon Vidal – Medical Officer and Dionne Durand- Smith – Media Officer.
Giselle Bannis, Laura Richards, Nora Berkitte, Robinson Coipel and Bernard Drigo received awards in appreciation of their support to the club.