Sat, Jul

Anthony 'Dada' Wickham, the Trendsetter Hawks coach

It is unsure whether the annual general meeting (AGM) and election of officers of the Northern Football Association (NFA) will take place today as planned at the Cascadia Hotel in St Ann's.

Anthony 'Dada' Wickham, the Trendsetter Hawks coach who is the first vice president on a slate being led by former national goalkeeper coach Ross Russell, said as far as he knows, the elections are on, with a starting time of 10 am.

But Richard Piper, president of the opposing slate which also comprises Derek Edwards (first vice president) and Rodney Stowe (second vice president), told Guardian Media Sports hesitantly that he is unsure if there will be an election today. Piper is bidding to replace his former boss and working colleague at All Sports Promotions - Anthony Harford, who resigned in October.

However, Wickham, seeking his foray into the area of administration, said officials from Piper's slate have been attempting to get the elections postponed to December 28 because they are unprepared.

According to Wickham: "I just got a call from one of the officials on their side asking me to put off the elections, asking me to put off the election until the 28th, because some of the clubs tell themselves they were not ready.

"For the last couple of days, what they were trying to do, they have been carrying around a petition trying to get clubs to sign on, to see if they could get nine signatures to stop the election. 'Alyuh' (They're) calling around to tell people don't come to the election because the election date is on the 28th."

Yesterday, Edwards said that 'Dada' and his team are attempting to go against the date set by the NFA executive, which is December 28.

"The December 12 date was set by Dada's team and a potential sponsor, which is in violation of the constitutionally set election date," Edwards said explaining that the December 12 date was set while a petition was being circulated by the majority of the clubs for the election to take place.

Nine clubs would represent more than a 50 per cent majority of the general membership required to stop the meeting, as there are 17 clubs in northern football.

With the NFA's AGM being postponed since September 2 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wickham's desire to elect a new administration took him to the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, who later gave him permission for a face-to-face meeting to be held at the St Ann's venue.

Meanwhile, Russell said he will be confident going into the election today, saying the clubs will decide on who they want to run the affairs of the sport for them.

"I am excited because it is a new position for me, I have been in coaching but never really in management, so it's the dawn of something new for me. There is a lot to do, first, there is the youth programme that has to get back on stream. The youth programme has been out for two years I believe, and I have a good team behind me that will ensure the programme gets back on track."

Meanwhile, Hardford, president of the NFA who said, "The Northern Football Association (NFA) executive met following a petition from several clubs in the North Zone and set December 28, 2020, for the Zone meeting according to the constitution. This date was sent to the TTFA normalisation committee which has agreed to this date and will be sending adjudicators for the meeting."

Harford told Guardian Media Sports yesterday that he will not be standing for re-election and will be standing down at the AGM on December 28. He said has no knowledge of any other meeting and if the clubs have a meeting planned among themselves, he has no information about that. He said if anyone needs any information on the AGM, they can contact Rayshaun Mars, the NFA general secretary.