Former coach of Belize’s national Football team gives his side of the story

Leroy Sherrier Lewis; Former Coach of Belize’s National Team is back in Belize, but not for long. Sherrier was appointed as Belize’s National Team Coach in early October of last year. His appointment was brief, (being only six months) and was not without its theatrics. His recent trip back to Belize was not to coach though; rather he’s in the country to pick up a visa from the US Embassy. While here, Plus TV’s Raynard Garbutt; host of Sportzone, was able to secure an exclusive interview with the coach where he told all. During the hour long sit-down last night, Sherrier listed twelve things which sealed his final decision of walking away from his position as Coach of the National Team. One of those primary reasons was that he was not being treated professionally.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis – Former Coach of Belize’s National Team:
vlcsnap-2013-04-16-20h41m56s200When I came in from Costa Rica, the first time I think, because any part of the world the General Secretary and the President come to meet the coach.  The first time I came here it was Ornand, Vice-president of the Committee.  I say, boy where the President? He say, he occupied.  Where’s the vice-president? [He say,] he occupied.  It’s OK, no problem.  The second time I came back, Mr Kuylen come and receive me and Mr Peyna. I say, where the President or where the Vice-president.  No they occupied.  I say, boy I’m National Coach, and not being treated as a National Coach.
To come to Belize and work with  one thousand, five hundred US dollars. A National Coach.  One thousand, five hundred US dollars.  That’s what I was making. But I just want to do it, because I love it and I just want to give something to Belize.

Initially the picture was painted as if the problem started in Costa Rica but according to Sherrier the problem started before the National Team left for Costa Rica and things escalated while in Costa Rica.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis – Former Coach of Belize’s National Team:
They promised the players them to give them the stipend before every night in Costa Rica.  So Mr Ornand and Mr Dean decide [not to give them the stipend] there.  I say, no we were promised.
So when we start now, Ornand come in and say no.  The money we’re going to give them tomorrow after the game.So the promise is to give them the money the night.  So, then the problem start.  The good thing Mr Pelayo come up and say, we’re gonna give the boys the money as we promised them.  So Ornand get vexed.  Dean get vexed.  So Dean said, now you instigate.  I’m the leader of the players them.  They come to me, I’m not instigated them,. They tell me that what they need.  

Sherrier says that, that’s when his quandary started with the committee as they thought that he had instigated the matter which was the beginning of other problematic situations.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis – Former Coach of Belize’s National Team:
In every part of the world the Coach have 5 or 6 tickets.  I don’t have to beg the tickets.  The come and give me, this are your tickets.  Give them to anybody you want.  I have to behind Dean to get the tickets.  I have to behind Pelayo to get it.  So on day I get the tickets. I give to my son. My son was right sitting down in the VIP section.  So I think we lose a game, or make some bad change. Anything can happen.  When you’re a coach you make change, you intend to make a change and it come out bad.  So Mr Dean Flowers cursing, cursing and curse with me.  But even though I know my son was behind there.  But my son with his camera, he snapped the picture.  And he stop it and after the game he say, Pappy this guy was cursing.  I said this is the manager, man.  From that I said, Dean you did this and this and this.  If you have any concern, come and talk to me.  We have to go on the VIP and cursing in the public. 

You may remember that while in Costa Rica, allegations were made against Sherrier via a letter which in short said that he owed some 50,000 US dollars to the courts in the United States. He explained that scenario.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis – Former Coach of Belize’s National Team:
I used to work with the Costa Rican Federation. We can check a guy and he start to work with us, but he start to abuse, and the president let him go.  So he sent a bogus letter to the Belize Federation.  But when that letter come in, and Mr Vincente was honest with me, when he come and say, Coach, this and this happen.  How this go?  I explain to him what happen.  But he tell Pelayo.  Pelayo come to me.   Pelayo was very worried about it. 
So I said boy, I’s here and I think that all of us are running, going on the same road, though they bring up this letter,  So Mr Vincente call the Federation. I said, Vincente that no true.  Call the President in Costa Rica. So he call the President in Costa Rica.  The President in Costa Rica don’t know nothing at all about that man. So I said, boy things not right here. So when I resign, after I see that action, after see Dean action, when the last game, I said I’m not going back Belize. He say, why?  Because I don’t confident the President, and I don’t confident Dean, so better I don’t go back. 

And so, soaring off its qualification for the Gold Cup, Belize’s National Team returned home without Sherrier. Exactly four days later though, he would return to Belize upon an announcement made by the Federation. Sherrier spoke about why he had a change of heart.

Leroy Sherrier Lewis – Former Coach of Belize’s National Team:
Mr Vincente called me and sent a text,  He say, Coach I want you come back.  I say, Mr Vincente I will come back under certain conditions. But who make all the arrangements, and who make all the business was Mr Pelayo. So Mr Pelayo say, Leroy you want to come back because this and this, OK no problem. But my condition is this and this and this and this. Salary, OK, one four thousand American dollars, and  I pay all my sleeping and eating.  Or give me three thousand dollars, and you pay sleeping and eating.  And then I want to certify coaches,  I want a Youth Development programme start right now.  He say, OK Leroy, that is OK.  That’s why I come back.
When I came back, I think everything was ready.  But the important part of this now; so they say, Leroy  you have your plan.  I say, I have my plan ready, master plan.  OK, we gwan meet with the [National Team] committee. So I sit down with the committee.  The first question, we want to know what is your petition.  But I said, I talk to this guy already, I talk to Pelayo, agree, but he never have nothing ready with the Federation, or with the Committee. 
Vincente and Mr Kuylen say, this is what we will do.  We’re going to  give the Coach three thousand dollars, and we’re going to pay eating and sleeping.  And that is where we start work.  I present the plan, and start work, and then what come after.

What came after? Well, as you would know, Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis would only coach the National Team for little over a month longer. Tomorrow, we will give you those details as to what were his determining factors to finally call it quits and return to Costa Rica.

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