Nations League has provided belief, opportunity-Grenada coach

September 18, 2020 0 Comments

first_imgMIAMI, Florida, (CMC) – Grenada coach and former national star, Shalrie Joseph, has hailed the positive impact of the recently implemented CONCACAF Nations League on the development of small Caribbean nations.He said the tournament, which began in September 2018, had instilled much-needed confidence in the smaller teams and provided a better opportunity for them to qualify for the confederation’s showpiece, the CONCACAF Gold Cup.“I think us in Grenada, one of the many islands in the Caribbean, absolutely benefitted from the new format, which is the CNL, which has revolutionized football in the region,” the 41-year-old told continental governing body’s website.“Now countries and FAs are going into competitions with a stronger belief that their countries can now qualify for tournaments, like the Gold Cup and the World Cup because of the way the CNL is structured.”The Nations League serves as a qualifier for the GOLD CUP, which is staged biennially. It is divided into three tiers with League A comprising 12 teams, League B consisting of 16 teams and League C boasting another 12 teams.Teams are subject to promotion and relegation based on results in group play.When the tournament was officially announced two years ago, CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said it was aimed at giving teams “the opportunity to play more and compete more, which in turn will propel greater development of the sport at every level”.Joseph, who made a name for himself as a defensive midfielder at MLS franchise New England Revolution with 37 goals in 261 appearances during a 10-year spell, said teams were already beginning to see the benefits.“I think the dreams of fans and players are being realized in this tournament, and if the CNL did not have this format, a small country like Grenada would not be able to play these different teams and would not be able to get this far,” he explained.“I think it is important that CONCACAF continues to do things like that, especially for a small island like Grenada, where we got to play different countries and visit different places, got to meet new people and have new experiences. We wouldn’t be able to do that if the competition was formatted differently.“I also think it’s ideal that these games are scheduled during the international window, which allows the overseas-based players to come back and play for their country.”Grenada enjoyed an excellent run in the current edition of the Nations League, topping Group A in League B with 14 points with four wins and two draws from six outings, to earn promotion to League A and a spot in next year’s Gold Cup.The winners of the other three League B groups – El Salvador, Jamaica and Suriname – also qualified for the Gold Cup.“We won our group and were undefeated in the competition, so I absolutely loved the outcome of my team in the competition,” Shalrie said.“I thought we were very outstanding in every aspect of the games. I believe the team was extremely hard-working and did everything right from the perspective of following what the coaching staff expected of them.”last_img read more