Group ‘B’ 2014 World Cup qualifier…Both teams exuding confidence ahead of clash
-C/bean businesses must understand role of sports-Shabazz
By Rawle Welch
“It is important for Caribbean businesses to understand the role sports can play in shaping our respective societies. Caribbean businessmen need to have a mindset to develop a product and not just jump on the bandwagon when the product is complete,” Technical Director Jamal Shabazz lamented, during a press briefing which was held to announce plans for the staging of Guyana’s ‘Golden Jaguars’ Group ‘B’ 2014 World Cup qualifier against Barbados tomorrow, at the National Stadium.
The briefing which was conducted at the Guyana Football Federation Head Office, also saw in attendance Acting President Franklin Wilson, Organising Secretary Aubrey Major, Team Manager Mark Xavier, Assistant Coach of the Barbados national team Thomas Jordan, Guyana’s Captain Chris Nurse and striker Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson.
With over $50million needed to offset expenses to host the two matches against Barbados and Bermuda as well as travel to play the away fixtures, the GFF has sent out a clarion call for local businesses to come on board and offer their support to the ‘Golden Jaguars’ as they seek to qualify for the World Cup in neighbouring Brazil in 2014.
Wilson in his comments welcomed the Barbados contingent along with all the overseas-based Guyanese players and urged the local fans to come out in their customary thousands to support Guyana’s quest to upstage the Bajans.
Shabazz speaking on the preparation of the Guyana squad said that they are prime and ready for the opposition, adding that the few challenges that the team faced are over and everyone is focused and rearing to do their country proud.
He added that the foreign players have quickly harmonized with the others and he expects to see them play as a unit.
Shabazz lauded the efforts of the overseas-based players who he informed was sharing their superior knowledge with the young ones and this according to him has made his job a bit more comfortable.
“I must usher praise to Richardson for his obvious maturity and this was seen in the time he spent with the younger players talking and teaching them the rudiments to play at the higher level. We are starting to see a collective effort and when you see coaches coming out and wanting to be part of the programme it is just the kind of thing we always wanted,” Shabazz commented.
He called on the team to produce a positive result in front of the local fans by going out and beating the Bajans.
Nurse in his remarks said it is a pleasure to be back playing for Guyana and as the Captain as well.
“We have a talented group of players and now is the time for us to realise our true potential. I’m also happy to see Gregory (Richardson) back as well as Jamal (Shabazz) and I know that we will do Guyana proud,” Nurse said.
Jordan speaking on behalf of the Bajan team disclosed that they’ve been in training for the past 2-3 months and have completed around 80% of their preparations.
He revealed that the team is made up of young players, but cautioned that they are very good and not to be underestimated.
Jordan informed that they were unable to get the foreign-based players to participate due to the non-approval of their clubs after the letters seeking their release was delivered late.
He spoke of some of the challenges they had to face which included the lack of use of the National Stadium which is undergoing much needed repairs among the main ones.
He, however, praised the hospitality displayed by the Guyanese and promised the fans that his team will be very competitive and he hopes the result is favourable to them.
Richardson questioned on whether his supporters will see a vintage performance come game day, responded by saying that he will sit with the TD and discuss his role in the team.
Guyana will play Bermuda on September 6, at the National Stadium.