Leroy Sherrier Lewis returns to coach Belize’s national team

Leroy Sherrier Lewis returns to coach Belize. Costa Rica’s Leroy Sherrier Lewis was architect of Belize’s best performance at a regional football tournament ever: 4th place at the Central American Nations’ Cup in January, in which we defeated Nicaragua in a nail-biter and respectably draw  with opponent Guatemala while narrowly losing to the hosts Honduras and El Salvador in the medal round. But on the eve of the team’s return home he withdrew from his position citing inability to work with the local football organization. Now he is back, after fences were mended. And coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis gave his first media interview today. First he addresses the issue of his contract and why he wanted to leave in the first place. He says he was frustrated with conditions here but now understands that this will be a long-term job and cannot be “quick-fixed”.

vlcsnap-2013-02-20-11h28m10s38Maybe my mistake was pretending to change Belize football entirely in other rhythm, with other desire.  I am from a football country and I would like to see in every aspect that Belize football go in that direction. I know that it’s difficult.  I know that Mr Vicente is doing his best, and he’s trying to do all the changes. It’s not easy.  It’s not easy to change 30 years of bad management, 30 years of situation there.  It’s not easy to change it in one day. And I want to change it in one day.  Sometimes I get frustrated.

According to Sherrier, preparations will start immediately for Belize’s maiden appearance at the Gold Cup later this year:

Right now we’re watching the teams them, observing some players that we’re interested in.  Maybe in May or April [we’ll] start to do we camps. Everybody will have an opportunity.  The youth players gonna have an opportunity. The door will be open, but one thing we wanna do, we’re gonna call in the players them. We’re not gonna accept nobody walk in and showing up without we invite them. But everybody qonna have opportunity.  We have a base already of 7 or 8 players.  We have a base. We have something what we can work on. So we’re gonna bring in new players, but we’ve got to see than, because it’s not only show up and play, I want to see you in camp, and see if you can be disciplined, you are committed, a lot of things that we need. Because the player have to be good off the field and on the field, not only on the field alone.

And with regards to the players who went to Costa Rica, Lewis says several of them, including goal scorer Deon McCauley and goalkeeper Woodrow West have gotten well deserved international attention:

I get a text from Deon McCauley.  He told me he was in Portland, I don’t know which part, where he is now. Trying out is good. And then I get a report that West he’s also doing his thing over there.  I get a report also that Kafu was to play here, but he wanted to continue in Honduras, and Elroy is still playing in Honduras.  Mariano, they have interest in Costa Rica for Mariano.  I never insist in it a lot because I want they to play in a team that they can get the money, and they get the salary on time.

There has been no word on whether a formal contract has been signed. The Gold Cup will take place in the United States in June and July of this year.

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