SHERNELLE JOSEPH – Passionate about Football Development

As part of the St Lucia Football Association [SLFA] promotion of activities, in observation of November’s ‘Women Football Month’ the organization will feature “women who have been in football and have become successful in their endeavours.”

Shernelle Joseph’s endearing passion and love for the sport of football has propelled her into a professional supportive role in the game.

A smiling Shernelle Joseph with football in hand
Shernelle Joseph

She admits to ‘loving every bit’ of the journey that has taken her thus far, and these are just some of the achievements and aspirations that has sustained the former national player’s interest in the game for so long.

According to Joseph, who hails from the Castries East suburbs of Marchand, she began playing the game from the tender age of three. She was coached by her father, former player and referee, George Roland aka “Lar Clay”.

She adds: “My growth and development were rapid and I soon found myself representing CDC United in a small goals competition played at the Castries CDC court. We won that tournament and I was adjudged MVP of the tournament and I also picked up the award for the most goals in the tournament.”

Henceforth, towards further development of her skills, Joseph moved from the CDC courts to Athletico United Football Club, an all-female football club. “There, I was made captain of the club’s senior team. Under my leadership the club emerged as national club champions. Incidentally, the finals in that competition ended in a penalty shootout. I scored the lone penalty,” she recalls.

Subsequently, emerging from that tournament a quasi-national team was formed by former (deceased) national coach Oliver “Smokey” Charles, to play against a visiting team from Martinique.

Coincidentally, in that same year, good fortune shone on Shernelle’s career build-up as she was selected to undergo formal training. She gained selection to represent the island in the Under 20 CONCACAF tournament.

St Lucia finished second in that tournament below Haiti, with Joseph playing her role as vice-captain of the team.

She credits the initial input of sports journalist, Terry Finisterre for helping to source a US scholarship for her, having observed her abilities and in an effort to afford Shernelle an opportunity to harness her football skills.

Following much ‘trials and effort’ Joseph was finally contacted by a US coach through a colleague, Janice Jn. Baptiste. “With good CSEC grades, football ability and having written the SAT exam, I was able to attend the Virginia Intermont College for four years (2003-2007),” she said.

At the VI College, Joseph majored in Sports Management and minored in Business Management; while she participated in the Appalachian Conference.

While attending college, she also garnered a list of awards/ honours that included;

· Dean’s List – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

· Nominated for All-American Scholar 2006

· National Intercollegiate Athletes Academic All-Conference Award 2004, 2005, 2006

· NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship 2006

· NAIA Women’s Soccer Regional Champions 2006

· Athletic Director Honour Roll – 2004, 2005, 2006

· Virginia Intermont Women’s Soccer Scholarship 2003 – 2007

Upon her return to St. Lucia, Joseph was assigned to the U-20 Women’s National Team (2009) in the dual capacity of assistant manager/assistant coach.

Additionally, she also had to undertake the task of planning and organizing the Under-16 Caribbean Female Football Tournament, which was due to be hosted by St. Lucia. However, due to the fire at St. Jude Hospital, whereby the George Odlum Stadium was temporarily converted into a health facility, the sports facility was no longer available and so the tournament was moved to Trinidad.

At the time, though, Joseph was unable to accompany the Under-16 female team to Trinidad since she had been selected to represent St. Lucia in Mexico at the Continental Women’s Soccer Coaching Course in Mexico Sept. 2009.

Her other courses completed and coaching experiences include:

– FIFA certificate in coaching women (2010)

– Manager senior national women’s team (2010)

– Physical Education Teacher attached to Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School (SISSS) (September 2016 – Present)

– Coach to U-15 and U-20 male football team and U-20 female team

– SLFA – Youth Officer-Part Time (Aug 2009)

– Physical Education Teacher attached to Vide Bouteille Secondary School (April 2008)

– Coach to both U- 15 and U- 20 male football teams

– Coach to the Virginia High School Women’s Indoor Soccer Team 2006 – 2007

– Assistant Intern Coach to Virginia High School Women’s Soccer Team (regular season) 2007

– Highlands Soccer Club Coach (children ages 6-9) Abington, VA, 2006 – 2007

With an objective set on helping young players to fully develop and nurture their skills, Joseph, a current teacher at SISSS, asserts diligently: “At present, apart from teaching I also assist young athletes to obtain sports scholarships.”

The SLFA recognizes the efforts and hard work of this female professional and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours.

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