Miami - Jason Roberts had a gleam in his eyes and unbridled excitement in his voice. He had good reasons for his sudden surge of spirit.
As a former footballer and new Development Director of Concacaf, he and the wider family of the Confederation have much to celebrate in the wake of this week’s official launch and qualifying draw of the new Nations League in Miami Beach.
The far-reaching tournament, which is enjoying popular support by the Concacaf membership, will redefine the competition and development platforms of senior men’s football across the confederation’s 41 members.
“I am hugely excited about this Nations League as this is a platform which allows us to have more games and more elite competition.
“If you look at the traditional cycle how many games were played by teams like Grenada and Jamaica, I think it is important to increase that number. Through the Concacaf Nations League, and from a development standpoint, we will see more positive outcomes as a result of this new league,” said the former Grenadian international.
Roberts underlined the value of quality competition as a driver for growth.
“I think it (Nations League) is something that will be central to our development platforms, as I have said competition drives development, and where we are able to provide more competition, that will foster that environment for development,” said the former English Premier League campaigner.
Shifting from his official role at the rebranded Concacaf, Roberts expressed delight at the opportunities that the Nations League will provide, not only for his Grenada, but for all Member Associations.
“I am happy for Grenada as these are the kinds of games you want as a player, and coming from a player’s background I am really excited about it.
“The standards for development have been set really high now as we have seen with the innovations of bringing new competitions in the region, so from that perspective, I am really happy for our organization and happy for the young people who will get the benefit of this because that’s the most important thing,” noted Roberts, who had a long career playing in the British topflight scoring some 154 goals in 501 appearances.