“I want kids to have realistic dreams of playing football in Guyana”
- so says ‘Golden Jaguars’ Captain Chris Nurse
Captain of the ‘Golden Jaguars’ Chris Ronald Nurse is hoping for the day when young players in Guyana can a have realistic dreams of forging football careers right in this country and possibly reach the level he is at and beyond.
Nurse articulated this aspiration of his while making his general Captain’s assessment of Guyana’s pulsating 3-2, FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Qualifier defeat against Central American side El Salvador on Tuesday evening at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
“I want kids to be able to have realistic dreams of playing football in Guyana through what they witness in front of their eyes and for it not to be a day dream, but a realistic dream that they can work towards. For that to happen we all need to continue to help grow the game in Guyana”, stated Nurse passionately.
He continued along the same tangent by saying: “I am proud of everyone of my team mates who gave everything on the night, and I am very optimistic for the future of football in Guyana. Now we need the public to continue to show their support, the government to share the vision and the business community to believe in the abilities and development of the youths.”
The 28-year-old midfielder, who has so far played 15 International matches for Guyana, scored his second International goal in the aforementioned encounter on Tuesday night. His first goal was against Barbados last October during the second round of World Cup Qualifying and he said that despite the defeat, the passion and dedication that was exemplified over the two home/away matches was first rate.
“It was a game where we played very well and clearly individual errors were the deciding factor which cost us the game, but that is not blaming anyone. Every member of staff and team members gave their best and that is all you can ask for. If you give your best and lose, I can live with that, it’s when you don’t try hard, that is not acceptable. The team played with a lot of passion, dedication and heart which is always expected when you are representing your country”.
Nurse elaborated further as to how major it is that Guyana are playing at this level and reminisced on the special moment when the team was clapped off the field in San Salvador.
“El Salvador were extremely clinical in their finishing which is the case at this level of football, the chances they were given they finished. I think we worked harder for our chances, created more and were unlucky not to be victorious on the night”, Nurse recounted.
“The comparison of footballing history between the two nations are miles apart, El Salvador are much richer in history, facilities, etc. But we are seeing that if we can continue to develop the football in Guyana that we can not only compete at the highest levels, but the next stage is to be victorious and dominant and the highest levels and this is where we need to create the correct infrastructure to be able to continuously and consistently be at that stage.”
“We’ve earned the right to play against these teams with rich footballing histories, and it is a phenomenal achievement for Guyana. We won the hearts of the El Salvador people, a country where I’ve played twice at club level and been racially abused and spat at, the fans were now giving our team a standing ovation and willing us on to be successful. I asked some of their fans why they were cheering for us, they told me it’s because we are unknown in the footballing world and we had won the respect of their people through the way we conducted ourselves and the heart, passion and talent we showed”.
“Losing is never pleasant, but you have to be able to accept it, learn from it and move on. It’s how you react after defeat that dictates your character, do you give up and quit or do you get back up and fight harder? I think after the loss to Costa Rica we showed the correct response. In these games we showed a lot of passion, pride, and desire, mixed with the talent of Trayon Bobb, Gregory Richardson etc, we were able to give El Salvador two very tough games”.
Nurse who is currently back with his North American Soccer League (NASL) Club, Puerto Rico Islanders as the 2011/12 season comes to an end this month, concluded by vehemently stating that the team is not going to throw in the towel in the final two games versus Mexico and Costa Rica. He also touched on the issue that fans and pundits have spoken on in recent days, as to why star striker Gregory “Jackie Chan” Richardson did not take the crucial penalty in extra time.
“I think it was clear with the form that Gregory Richardson has been in over the past two games he was a favourite to take the penalty in the dying stages, however he was hurt towards the end of the game and did not feel fit to kick the penalty, so next in line was his strike partner (Carl Cort).
We’ve seen the best players in the world; Messi, Ronaldo, Beckham, Rooney all miss penalties, so this is no reflection on his performance or ability, it was just unlucky. If you score you’re a hero, if you miss, in the eyes of some you are a scum and a villain. To me, it’s my team mate, and he gave his best and I’m proud to be on his team. Anthony Abrams is another player we missed, his pace is able to change games and he is a valuable member of the team, unfortunately in this camp he suffered from a injury and wasn’t quite at match fitness”, the Guyana Captain reasoned.
“We are not mathematically out of the tournament yet, we still have a chance so anyone would be a fool to throw in the towel, there’s a lot to play for. I’m sure scouts will now be searching for Guyana players everywhere after the reports that have been going around from these performances and there is always pride to play for and the experience alone of these kind of games will improve everyone as a player, so the stage is by no means over.
To all the fans who were able to show your support in person and those who were supporting from afar, I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the team. United we stand, God’s Blessings to all.”