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Wade visualising successful tenure

Photograph by Lawrence TrottChanging of the guard: Wade, right, the new Bermuda Football Association president, shakes hands with his predecessor Mussenden prior to last night’s AGM at Devonshire Recreation Club

Mark Wade is the Bermuda Football Association’s new president after replacing Larry Mussenden at last night’s Annual General Meeting at Devonshire Recreation Club.

Wade’s first task was to immediately bestow the title of honorary vice-president on Mussenden, presenting him with a plaque, as club representatives paid tribute to the outgoing president, who served for 13 years during two terms.

Wade, who stood down as PHC Zebras coach at the end of last season after deciding to make another bid for the presidency, ran unopposed as did new first vice-president Shannon Burgess, Crenstant Williams, the second vice-president, and the nine executive members.

“Obviously I’m very happy to come to this point, a lot of people have supported me in my football career from a player to coach to administrator,” said Wade, 50, who was defeated by Mussenden for the presidency in 2012.

“As I sat here I reflected on those people, some of whom aren’t with us anymore.

“What I shared with the congress is that every club should have a vision and a strategic plan.

“It’s one of the things I want to see us try to achieve with every club, because every club has goals.

“Now, because the clubs are focusing on the next challenge, not many of them have the ability to think long term and we want them to do that.

“One of the things I used to do as a coach is visualisation which takes you through a game, visualising how you will be successful in that game. I took the congress through that process but from an administrative point of view. I’m ready to get back to work.”

Wade said he was encouraged to make another bid for the presidency when it became known that Mussenden would not seek another term.

Last night Wade vacated the first vice-president’s post, which is now occupied by Burgess who has held the post of second vice-president since Gregory Grimes stepped down almost two years ago.

“I was encouraged by some supporters who felt I had what it takes to be the BFA president,” Wade said. “Larry did let me know quite a few months ago what his plans were and at that point the path was laid out for me and I followed it.

“It’s a long time coming and I hope I can do the position justice.

“In addition to working through the strategic plan we need better marketing so that we can tell the story of football. There are stories and successes that we really haven’t communicated.

“I want to get in and support clubs and I also want to improve how we prepare for international competition, so those are the three things I want to focus on while the rest of the executive is focusing on the strategic plan.”

Commentating on Burgess being elected first vice-president, Wade said: “Shannon brings his football knowledge having played for Bermuda. He also brings a corporate mentality which is very important when you are running a business, which the BFA is.”

Burgess, a former Devonshire Colts and Bermuda captain with a career in finance, is looking forward to working with the executives.

“It’s a natural progression for me, moving from the field to the boardroom was something I looked at six or seven years ago,” he said.

“The executive, as I saw it, perhaps needed a bit of help and my background within the financial services industry complemented a lot of the things they were looking to accomplish.

“It’s ironic that when I first decided to join the executive I was running on Mark’s platform when he was seeking to become president.

“He was unsuccessful in his bid but now he has progressed through the ranks to president and I’m his vice-president. I support him and believe in his vision.

“We’re looking to do some good things and progressing the association so that football wins ultimately.”

Crenstant Williams, a former member of the executive committee, is now second vice-president.

The nine executives are Anthony Francis, Shequita Parson, Troy Brimmer, Antoine Augustus, Charryse Bean, Troy Lewis, Manny Faria and new members Stuart Crockwell and Vance Campbell, who serves as a member of the player development committee.