Bradford urges GFF to widen their lenses when selecting national teams
By Rawle Welch
Chairman of Region 7 Gordon Bradford, speaking with this newspaper shortly after the conclusion of the regional final between Waramadong and Santa Rosa in this year’s Digicel Nationwide Schools Football Competition, called on the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) to widen their lenses when selecting players for the national team.
Bradford, who was invited to witness the game during one of his community outreaches, said he was extremely impressed by the talent on display during the game and urged the GFF to not only contain their focus on players from the coastland, but also in the hinterland where an abundant of talent reside, especially within the Amerindian communities.
“We have a lot of players who to my mind are just as good or even better than some of those that I’ve seen selected to the national squad and I’m making an appeal to the local administrators of the sport to send scouts into some of these areas where they can spot some of the rich talent that reside there,” Bradford stated.
Giving Region 7 as an example, Bradford spoke of the passion for the sport among the communities where players start honing their skills from an early age under supervised leadership, while the advantage of playing consistently helps to their abilities and also increases their intelligence of the game.
He opined that until what he has suggested in done, then Guyanese will never feel satisfied with the composition of the national team since it lacks representation from a wider cross section of the country.
Bradford also spoke of the support the sport receives within the various communities which again according to him is enormous.
Residents come from remote villages travelling sometimes for as much as 2-3 hours on water in makeshift boats just to have the opportunity to support their teams.
Many players according to him go across the border and play at a high level, but always return to represent their communities, especially during their Inter-District Tournament which is run in August.
According to Bradford it would be a good thing for the GFF Acting President Franklin Wilson to visit the area during its staging to get a firsthand look at the talent that abound in the hinterland regions.
He said he would be issuing an invitation for Wilson to attend the event.
Meanwhile, Bradford took the time to thank Digicel for proving the opportunity to the players to exhibit their talent and pleaded with the Company to contemplate bringing a semi-final or final to the community.