Technical Director of the Golden Jaguars, Jamal Shabazz and Head Coach, Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover are optimistic that Guyanese ballweavers would emulate their previous winning feats against their Barbadian and Bermudian counterparts when the local players travel to those countries for return games of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on October 7 and 11.
The two officials voiced those sentiments at the Enmore Community Centre ground where the team was rounding off preparations for the return encounters yesterday afternoon.
Indeed, the players were hard at work, practicing strategic moves and passes as their coaches shouted instructions. “We have to be disciplined,” shouted Shabazz as a player allowed the ball to slide by thus disrupting the smooth flow. “We have to finish with penetration,” he fumed as another player collected a perfectly good pass only to tap it into the waiting hands of the goalie. Mr. Shabazz spent all but three hours guiding the players before wrapping up the session.
Meanwhile, Dover also exuded similar confidence and assured that despite inadequate practice matches during the preparation period the ballweavers are fit and ready.
He said even though the local players had decisively won the two matches played at home, their fitness had been somewhat suspect and has been of major concern. “We have been able to shrug aside those shortcomings and I believe that our players are ready for the challenge ahead,” he affirmed.
Acting President of the GFF, Franklyn Wilson was on hand to observe the players at work. He feels that there has been a collective effort by several affiliates that is responsible for the team reaching this far in the competition. He said that the sport is now in a new dispensation and the collective effort of all stakeholders is of immense importance towards the team attaining success.
The GFF acting president further pointed out that there is a newly developing culture where everyone is working assiduously towards one common goal—the success of the team.
He also expressed gratitude for the support received from the corporate community and singled out the Government of Guyana, Bakewell, Banks DIH, Ansa McAl, the Roti Hut and Humphrey’s Bakery. Mr. Wilson also disclosed that the players will be treated to lunch compliments of the proprietor of Roti Hut later today.
The Golden Jaguars won both of their games played locally after defeating Barbados 2-0 and Bermuda 2-1 at the National Stadium Providence.
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