57 players called to prepare for Pan American Under-21 Tournament
Guyana has tasted some of its greatest international hockey successes in junior men’s competition and this has gone on to form the backbone of the game’s sustenance in Guyana.
According to GHB secretary, Gregory Sills, most of the players who have represented Guyana internationally at senior level and who now form the nucleus of local hockey clubs have been products of a junior national programme.
It was Sills, who in 1992 coached Guyana’s junior men to a Gold Medal in the Junior Caribbean Championships in Venezuela, which still stands as Guyana’s best result in recent times.
After a brief absence from junior competition regionally, Guyana returned in 2008 to the PAHF under-21 championships, but made a poor showing.
Inadequate preparation time and the unavailability of the initial coaching staff due to work commitments robbed the team of a genuine opportunity to compete at their best.
President of the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB), Philip Fernandes, indicated that the local governing body is intent on producing better results the next time around and so will begin preparations much earlier.
Given the lack of international hockey facilities, Fernandes pointed out that the local teams have to log more practice time than their competitors, if they are to be competitive.
The GHB has therefore shortlisted 57 players to begin training under Coach Robert Fernandes in preparation for the next PAHF male under-21 Championships scheduled for 2012.
While the extended squad will train together for the greater part of the year, eighteen players will eventually be selected as the final team to compete at the championships. Training begins on Wednesday June 1st, from 18:00 to 20:00 hrs, at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.
The full squad expected to attend Wednesday’s training session are as follows:
GCC – Stephen Xavier, Brian Gomes, Nicholas Yearwood, Mark Sargeant, Matthew Xavier, Alex Fiedtkou, Eric Hing, Meshach Pierre
Hikers – Aroydy Branford, Ryan Primo, Jamarj Assanah, Andrew Stewart, Antonio Pemberton, Leon Bacchus, Michael Harding, Travon Younge, Cove Bowman
Marian Academy – Dennis Basdeo, Justin Gomes, Nickoli Cox, Antonio Seeanon, Khalid Gajraj, Kevin Hamilton, Mortimer Stewart, Jonathan Singh
North Ruimveldt Multilateral – Micha Hartman, Stephon King, Timothy Baker, Selwyn McIntosh, Kaleel Smith, Mark Fraser, Fitzroy Leitch
Old Fort – Jamal Robinson, Richard Helligar, Shamar Pemberton, Christopher Swami, Kevin Melville, Eric Joseph, Kurt Thomas, David Williams, Kieron Campbell
Police – Anton Duke, Osafo Timmerman, Leroy Carrol