Nov 08, 2011 Sports
Technical Director of the Golden Jaguars, Jamal Shabazz is confident that his men will defeat the Trinidad Soca Warriors when the two teams clash in the first of two encounters at the National Stadium Providence, on Friday November 11. Mr. Shabazz voiced these sentiments at a press conference convened to brief the media of the team’s progress, yesterday afternoon.
The local ball weavers will continue their quest for world acclaim when they tackle Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors in the first of two home and away, encounters, anticipated to produce fireworks but more importantly, will advance to the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and a possible chance to compete in the 2014 World Cup slated for Brazil.
Already, the local ball weavers have stood out after registering decisive wins against Barbados and Bermuda in home and away games. However, despite scintillating performances, and despite the fact that they have accrued the most points and are leading in group ‘B,’ the job is not yet finished and the local ball weavers will have their work cut out to advance to the next round when the Trinidadians in what has been established as the most crucial hurdle to cross.
Football administrators are putting the requisite modalities in place to ensure that the Golden Jaguars come out victorious and have agreed that the pivotal component is support. As such, a team of organizers headed by the Kashif and Shanghai duo have devised an appropriate strategy that they feel is the catalyst to the footballers’ success.
Dubbed the ‘Wear Yellow’ initiative, the organizers are imploring Guyanese of all walks life to don yellow jerseys in support of the local team on the day of the match.
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Shabazz lent his voice to the cause and urged Guyanese to come out in their numbers in support of the locals. He intimated that several additional members were drafted into the 21 member local squad and he is confident that their input would be valuable to the Jaguars’ advancement. Mr. Shabazz feels that the support of every Guyanese is important and he appealed for concerted action towards this end. He endorsed the ‘Wear Yellow’ initiative, while reminding that over 300 Trinidadian supporters have already booked flights and secured hotel accommodation to support their team.
He urged local supporters to come out in their yellow jerseys, drums, flags and other national paraphernalia in support of the Jaguars. Shabazz said he is confident that his boys stand as good a chance of defeating the Trinidadians even though several experienced players engaged in duties in the English Leagues, including Stern John and Kelwyn Jones, are representing Trinidad and Tobago.
He said that seven Guyanese players attached to the English Leagues arrived in Guyana Sunday night last and are ready to exhibit their skills.
Shabazz exuded confidence saying that even though they were not practicing and playing together, he is confident that they will gel into one component on the night of the big match. “This is the start of something special; it will break all political barriers; it’s a deep spiritual connection,” proclaimed the technical director.
A Trinidadian by birth, Shabazz has played an integral role in the development of the local ball weavers. He was quizzed of any pressures associated with his involvement with the Jaguars in view of his nationality. He debunked this theory saying that his ambition is to take a Caribbean team to the World Cup and felt as though he belonged in Guyana.
He said that his ambition was fuelled by an earlier remark made by the president of the Jamaican Football Federation, Horace Burrell, who openly said that Caribbean coaches were incapable of producing a world class Caribbean team to attend the world’s most prestigious football tournament. “I want to show him and other doubters that Caribbean players could be just as productive and could enter the big stage,” proclaimed Shabazz. He also dubbed the experience a deep spiritual connection.
Meanwhile, President of the GFF (ag), Franklyn Wilson joined in the call for national support for the Golden Jaguars. He implored all Guyanese to come out in their thousands in support of the local ball weavers. He said that more than 300 Trinidadians will comprise a team from that country that will be at the Stadium to support their team. “There must be a crescendo of noise from local supporters that must drown out the supporters’ voice,” he urged. Also in attendance were captain of the Golden Jaguars, Chris Nurse feels that his men are ready for the match. He does not share the view that their inability to practice will hamper their cohesiveness. His views were substantiated by another player, Walter Moore.
The organizers are indeed grateful for the corporate support received from several companies including of Humphrey’s Bakery, Bakewell, GT&T, Ansa McAl and the Government of Guyana. Those purchasing T /Shirts will be required to pay $1,500 while the T Shirt and ticket will be sold for $2,000.
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