T&T Women's Football League
18 Jun 2011
- Written by Tennille Alleyne (T&T Guardian)
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Brent Sancho’s Vision Forward International women’s football team Brent Sancho is best remembered as one of the nation’s football heroes from the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Sancho has enjoyed tremendous success, playing for many international teams including the Rochester Rhinos and Atlanta Silverbacks. He has also lived in England.
Now focusing on managing and coaching the North East Stars, Sancho has been developing a women’s football team called VFI, as well as other promising business ventures.
What does VFI stand for?
Vision Forward International (or others may know us as Visa Face!
What inspired you to create a team for women?
We had a few ladies who wanted to play football at a good level. I realised that there were many women who had played football at a high level in high school and university who didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy the sport once they began their careers. VF Ladies gives them a chance to stay fit in a competitive environment.
What charities does VFI support?
VF Ladies are not alligned to specific charities. Instead we look for issues that we feel need to be addressed.
How do you select your players?
As with the men’s team, we welcome players of any standard, providing they buy into our philosophy and spirit. Of course we want to win and will start with our strongest 11, but we try to give everyone a game. Theres no “me” in VFI, its all about the group.
Where has team visited so far?
At this stage we have only played locally in areas such as Toco and Tobago, as well as our usual venue in Port of Spain. However, we plan to visit British Virgin Isles and Martinique later in the year, as we have been invited to tournaments. However, we need to secure additional sponsorship to ensure that we can compete with both a men and women’s team.
What are your goals for the team?
Our immediate goal is to become the premier women’s touring team in the Caribbean. We want to reach the stage where we are invited to tournaments across the Caribbean, USA, Latin America and maybe even Europe.
How can interested women join the team?
Any lady interested in finding out more can contact us through our facebook page vfladies. You don’t have to be the best footballer, or even play football. We need help with administration and fundraising. Although VFI is centered around football, it is essentially a social network.
What role do you play?
I have the unenviable task of trying to coach. I guess you could call me their special advisor.
How is the team managed?
I usually work with team manager, Lorraine, team captain, Christine Rose, and our administrator Tracey Pierre.
The team is partly sponsored, why should others come on board?
We’ve been lucky enough to attract sponsorship from Euro Tune Performance and I managed to convince Sancho’s Tasty Foods to contribute a little. We also take assistance from the men’s team, who benefit from several sponsors including Woodford Cafe, Central Plumbing & Hardware and Frankies restaurant & bar. We still need additional sponsors because we are now ready to begin playing matches overseas. The unique advantage of sponsoring VF Ladies is that not only can we promote women in sport, but we can develop programmes to tackle womens issues, so the team is an ideal vehicle for promoters of womens products.
What’s next for the VFI?
We want to begin touring overseas. We also want more people to support women’s football. The standard is far higher than most people realise.
What’s next for Brent Sancho?
I am concentrating on helping North East Stars build on their success from last season. I will also be embarking on an exciting new project called Japs On The Move, which will see Trinidad’s best tasting chicken available in new locations across the nation. Of course we still have a tv show in pre production called Sancho’s Soccerama, which we are very excited about.
You have been between England and T&T, are you making T&T your permanent residence?
T&T will always be home! With all of these projects, I think its clear that I am committed to staying in Trinidad.
What’s your relationship status—married/in love/ its complicated?
Currently, my status is in love. Let’s just say I can hear wedding bells in the distance.
Do you intend on having kids—perhaps it could be a recruitment strategy for your team?
Actually I’m proud to say that the first member of my team recently arrived. My son, Jayden was born April 26, and I can honestly say that becoming a father is better than anything I’ve experienced so far, on or off the field.
If you were the Minister of Sport, what would be your priority?
The current Minister has an extremely difficult task as there are numerous sporting organisations run by amateurs who expect their athletes to perform professionally. There is also a serious lack of accountability, transparency and vision. We have to stop thinking of getting results tomorrow and start planning for sustainable long term success.
Brent Sancho, the man, who is he in three words?
Resourceful. Ambitious. Creative.