By Franklin Wilson in Suriname compliments of Digicel and Carib
Guyana’s flagship football team, ‘The Golden Jaguars’ will be going all out to eliminate arch rivals Suriname when the two countries face off in the first of their home and away second round series of the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, Caribbean Football Union qualifying campaign.
The match, which is expected to be a fierce battle between two nations with a rich football history, is set for the Andre Kamperveen Stadium.
Technical Director Jamaal Shabazz speaking with Kaieteur Sport on the style of play and the readiness of his charges said they are at an acceptable level of fitness and is expecting a good result in favour of the lads from the land of Many Waters.
It has been raining quite a bit in Suriname but the elements from above is not expected to dampen the spirits of the Jaguars who relishes a battle in any condition. Shabazz said he had one problem, a good one, and was trying to devise a strategy along with his technical staff to accommodate the problem.
That problem is that the four (4) forwards in the squad (Anthony Abrams, Gregory Richardson, Collie Hercules & Nigel Codrington) have all been playing well and can all start according to the TD.
“They are all playing so well that we are trying to improvise and see how we could devise a pattern of play that could incorporate all of them playing.
It’s a risk playing away from home but the team agrees that while Guyana politically is considered a Caribbean country it is in South America so we have inherited this attacking mindset which we definitely will take to the game today.”
All four players with the exception of Abrams are plying their trade in the Pro League in Trinidad and Tobago. Richardson who plays with Joe Public was named MVP of the 2007 season.
In terms of the defence, Shabazz his trusted tried and proven captain and central defender Charles ‘Lilly’ Pollard has grounded himself into form at the right time. Pollard, who also plays in the T&T Pro League, was voted MVP in the finals of the Courts Pro Bowl Championship.
“In the practice game against Trinidad and San Juan Jabloteh, I thought he had solid performances. He’s slowed down quite a bit but his experience is so valid and his presence in the squad is important.
He has taken up the responsibility to help us bring along players like Kester Jacobs and Kelvin Smith in central defence and for the first time I can say that with Smith and Jacobs they are players who can help secure this position for the future of Guyana’s football.”
The midfield too, looks solid with the likes of veterans Kayode McKinnon, Shawn Beveney, Konata Manning, Dwain Jacobs, Howard Newton and Quacy Johnson all in contention.
So with over two weeks of preparation put in, its time for the real test. Positive results will lead to the next stage of CFU qualifying.
Let’s rally around the Jaguars in Suriname and for the return game set for the Providence Stadium next Sunday. If you are unable to make Suriname, be sure you are part of the massive crowd expected at the Stadium for the Guyana leg of the battle.
Possible starters: Richard Reynolds (goal keeper); Defenders: Charles Pollard (captain), Carey Harris, Walter Moore and Howard Lowe; Midfield: Kayode McKinnon, Shawn Beveney with either Dwain Jacobs or Howard Newton at left and Konata Manning or Quacy Johnson with McKinnon at centre; Forwards: Nigel Codrington and Gregory Richardson.
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