FOOTBALL / David Baltase: “The enthusiasm for the round ball in Saint-Martin is still intact! "


David Baltase, FFF Football Technical Advisor in the Saint-Martin League, gives us an overview of the short football season and interesting prospects for the next school year.

Following the passage of cyclone "Irma" last September, the island's football activity was strongly impacted this 2017/2018 season. This is mainly due to the destruction of training and match infrastructure, part of the Football League, the loss of teaching materials from clubs and the League, the departure of a large number of parents, educators , players and volunteers for their work or studies elsewhere (70% of schools have been destroyed too!)

So it took time for everyone to rebuild and rebuild before they were willing and available for Football.

The season therefore started at the beginning of March with mobilization and information meetings on the progress of the next 4 months, with the means that were ours and asking everyone's participation and patience for this recovery. I must salute the courage and availability at all times of educators, parents, volunteers and players from Saint-Martin.

We have given equipment to the clubs (League stocks and equipment sent by the FFF), so that the clubs and teams can restart, prepare and participate in future events and competitions to come. We also took the opportunity to honor the 2016/2017 volunteers.

I point out that no club (for security reasons) has obtained training slots by the community, the only stadium having been opened only for the activities and organizations of the SXM League. Some clubs have therefore had no training and have only redone football through our activities, some have managed to train on “wasteland” or abandoned but allowing a little activity anyway.

Resumption of land in early March 2018

We therefore made the return to football in March, with a Festi-foot for the U7, U9, U11 and U13 categories.

We also organized an opening tournament for the U15 and U17 categories.

This allowed me to see the number of clubs and then prepare the plates, meetings or competitions adapted to the number of players and depending on the availability of the field.

So I offered U7 and U9 regular courses every 2 weeks with alternating meetings and technical exercises. Ditto for the U11 who had meetings every 2 weeks without classification.

The U13, U15 and U17 had a small championship in 1 single leg and a cup to participate in 2 competitions over these 4 months.

The seniors also had a championship and a cup as a competition.

10 clubs have participated in our activities this season: Risc Takers, FC Concordia, Saint Louis Stars, FC Marigot, Juniors Stars, United Stars, FC Juventus, FC Attacker, FC Flamingo and Dominators.

The winners for this season are: 

In U13: Juventus in cup and Saint Louis in Championship

In U15 : Junior Stars in Cup and Flamingo in Championship

In U17: Junior Stars for the double

In Seniors: Saint Louis in the Cup and Junior Stars in the Championship

A U13-U15 course was organized during the Easter holidays with Mr Christian Gourcuff

Mr Gourcuff was very involved and available for young people and educators, throughout the week. Thanks to him !

The Saint Martin Football League also organized a Football tournament in the U14 category on the Pentecost weekend. Many people attended the meetings over 2 days, which also helped to revitalize the activity.

Several actions with schools 

We have managed in partnership with the USEP to organize an inter-primary school tournament in early June, with the sponsorship of Mr José Pierre Fanfan.

We have seen that the enthusiasm of young Saint-Martin for football is still intact!

We are currently preparing our U14 team for participation in a U14 tournament with the CFU in the Dominican Republic from August 2 to 13, 2018.

On the program, training and friendly matches in order to have the best possible preparation.

Projects galore for back to school…

I am also preparing for the next season, in terms of calendars, training, interventions in schools, diversified football (Beach, futsal, etc.), development center for boys and girls, competitions, meetings and stages, setting up of various commissions. organization of football, relaunch of women's football, etc.

A lot of work in perspective for a league which, despite its limited means, remains very dynamic and above all passionate about Football. The League Council and its president give me almost carte blanche to set up and help the development of football.

The major problems are the lack of structure which considerably limits our activities, does not allow the club to train and therefore to progress. We currently only have one field, in very poor condition, not allowing us to work enough on the technical quality and the quality of the game.

In addition, we still need to work on the training and quality of educators, mainly more focused on the issue than on the game.

The community is taking advantage of this summer to rehabilitate certain sports facilities, which could allow us to own 2 fields, and additional training opportunities for our young people and enough to diversify and develop our activities. _AF

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