Anguilla

Anguilla

  • Capital: The Valley
  • Official Languages: English
  • Nicknames: N/A
  • Association: Anguilla Football Association (AFA)
  • FIFA Code: AIA

Records

  • Best World Cup Result (Men): Not Qualified
  • Best World Cup Result (Women): Not Qualified
  • Best Gold Cup Result (Men): Not Qualified
  • Best Gold Cup Result (Women): Not Qualified
  • Best Caribbean Cup Result: (Men): Not Qualified
  • Best Caribbean Cup Result: (Women): Not Qualified
  • Highest FIFA Ranking (Men): 189 (June – September 1997)
  • Highest FIFA Ranking (Women): N/A
  • Lowest FIFA Ranking (Men): 210 (November 2019)
  • Lowest FIFA Ranking (Women): N/A
  • Most Capped Player: Ryan Liddie – 31 caps
  • Top Scorer: Girdon Connor and Richard O’Connor – 5 goals

Anguilla is a a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles.

Football in Anguilla is administered by the Anguilla Football Association which was founded in 1990 and based in the capital of Anguilla – The Valley. The association became an associate member of CONCACAF in 1994 and were given full membership by the governing body in 1996. It was also in 1996 that the association became fully affiliated to FIFA.

Anguilla has both a male and female national football team – currently the women’s team is not affiliated to FIFA. The men’s team is currently ranked 209th (December 2020) in the FIFA rankings and will be hoping for a change in fortune since the recent appointment of former professional and Trinidad & Tobago international – Stern John as their head coach.

Stern John – Pictured here playing for Birmingham City in England

To find out more about the Anguilla national team we spoke to Caribbean football enthusiast Pascal Schmidt. Pascal is currently the secretary of Anguillan club, Uprising FC and has a superb knowledge of the game not only in Anguilla but in the whole of the Caribbean too.

Q. Who would you say is your country’s best player and coach/manager of all-time, and the reasonings behind the choices?

That’s a very good question! Anguilla had in the past a few really good coaches like Scott Cooper, who was later also the coach of the Philippines, and another coach by the name of Richard Orlowski. But I would say the best coach in my opinion was Nigel Connor who is also the coach of the Roaring Lions, the current champions of the AFL League in Anguilla. I really like him as a person and I think the team has made some good progress in the last few years under his belt. 

The best player for me is Cyrus Vanterpool. He is technically maybe the best player to play for Anguilla in the past few years. He came through the youth teams at English championship club Queens Park Rangers and you can see that he has good experience from playing at a professional football club.

But also there have been/are players like Germain Hughes, Kapil Battice and Girdon Connor who are/were great players and very important for the National Team. 

Q. Who could be regarded as a ‘cult hero’ in terms of the national team both in the past and present?

Anguilla doesn’t really have a cult hero but I hope this will change in the future.

Q. Of the current team, who would you say is the best player in the Anguilla national side currently?

As I have already mentioned in my answer to the first question – for me this has to be Cyrus Vanterpool.

Q. How would you describe the current state/performance of the national team?

A bit ambivalent. Our games in Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago in 2019 were definitely not good. But when I think about the two games against Puerto Rico then I am really optimistic that Anguilla will have a bright future. We lost to Puerto Rico 3-2 at home, but the team played very well and as a unit.

The team still has a long way to go but with the new strategy and structure of the AFA and maybe a good mix of local and overseas based players, Anguilla have the potential to rise soon in the FIFA rankings.

Q. Are there any Anguillan players who you think we should be focusing on for the future – who would you say is the most exciting up & coming talent from the country?

Yes but unfortunately I can’t tell you their names yet! We found a few really good players overseas with parents or grandparents from Anguilla. Some of them play under professional conditions and I really hope to see them soon in the National Team.  

The best talent currently from Anguilla is perhaps Germain Hughes, he is still young but he has already captained the national team. Currently he plays for the Roaring Lions in Anguilla but he has also played for clubs in Barbados, England and Gibraltar. 

I’m optimistic that we will be hearing more in the future also from players like Kyle Lake-Bryan (based in England), Javis Jones (Uprising FC), Jauron Gayle (Diamond FC), Shemari Bryan (Roaring Lions), or Armoni Gumbs (Lymers FC).

One for the future – Javis Jones of Uprising FC

Q. Looking at Anguilla’s international history, what would you say has been the best game, result or performance for the national team in your opinion?

I would say the best game was the 0-0 draw in a World Cup Qualifying match against the Dominican Republic in 2004. It is the best result against a higher ranked team in Anguilla’s history. But also the 2-3 defeat against Puerto Rico in 2019 was a really great performance too.

Q. Likewise, is there a performance or result which is regarded as the team’s lowest point?

Unfortunately Anguilla has lost many games in the past, the ones I remember the most are the 10-0 defeat versus Guatemala and the 15-0 defeat against Trinidad & Tobago in 2019. This was a really difficult moment for the players and the staff, but I wouldn’t say it was the team’s lowest point because the players love to play for Anguilla and they always fight for their little island on the field.

Q. What are the best and worst things about being a fan of the Anguillan national team?

For me there are no worst things about being a fan of the national team. The best things for me are that the AFA, the players and the staff put so much hard work into playing for Anguilla – this alone makes me so happy!

Q. Have the fans adopted some kind of unofficial anthem to sing along to before/during/after matches?

No they haven’t got an unofficial anthem but I like it when the supporters sometimes play steel drums during the games or in the break, that’s really cool. That makes for a really good positive atmosphere.

Q. Do you have a favourite or iconic shirt from the whole time of the national team?

Oh yes! I really love the blue, white and orange kit that the national team wore in 2019 during their home games – they looked really cool!

Q. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of the Anguilla national team?

Well I am really confident and optimistic to think that the Anguilla national team is in a good position at the moment. I hope that we can start to see some positive results on the field in the very near future.

A massive thank you/danke schön to Pascal for answering our questions about the Anguillan national team. Remember you can find his excellent Twitter account in the links at the top of the blog page.

If you have any comments, suggestions, reactions, or even your own answers to the above questions, please write them in the comments box below. Likewise, you can either email us at the94thmin@gmail.com or send a message to the writer @Gareth19801 or the editor @The94thMin on Twitter.

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