Even as Guyana’s premiere football team, the Golden Jaguars, heats up preparation for their participation
in the second stage of the FIFA World Cup football qualifiers, scheduled for later this year, coach of the squad, Jamal Shabazz, has lamented the paucity of adequate training venues to augment their chances of doing well.
Mr. Shabazz convened a press brief at the Raddison Apartment Suites, Laluni Street Queenstown yesterday morning to draw attention to this anomaly even as he brought the press up to date on the progress of the team’s preparation. He was joined by captain of the squad Christopher Nurse and players Kayode McKinnon, Shawn ‘Bubbly’ Beveney and manager of the squad, Mark Xavier.
The Trinidadian coach has piloted the team to its present position, never before attained by any local squad, and is optimistic that once given the requisite support, the Golden Jaguars could continue their successful march notwithstanding the toughness of the group in which they are competing.
However, despite those challenges, Mr. Shabazz issued special praise to the Manager of the National Stadium Providence, Anthony Xavier, who he said has made provisions for the Golden Jaguars to utilize that facility for training purposes. “Such chivalry ought not to go unnoticed and we are indeed grateful for the support,” said Shabazz.
That apart, the Trinidadian coach feels that the team’s preparation over the past two weeks went well despite mixed results. During that time the players travelled to Trinidad and Tobago and lost 1 nil to the Tobago All Stars team. The squad also conceded a 3-1 loss to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic squad. The locals rebounded with a 1-0 victory over St Vincent and another over Grenada 2-1, coming from a 1-0 deficit. “Such resilience coupled with the nationalistic overtones ought to inspire enough confidence in, and support for the team,” exhorted Mr. Shabazz.
Mr. Beveney said that his colleagues are training diligently and are confident of procuring positive results. He lauded an earlier victory over Trinidad and Tobago which propelled the local squad to their current standing in the FIFA qualifiers but cautioned against complacency since the team are now advancing into tougher territory against world class teams. “No one could say that he has any position sealed down, therefore the aim is to continue working diligently towards the prize,” said Beveney.
Mr. McKinnon and his Captain, Christopher Nurse also added their voices to the cause saying that support is an extremely important variable to the equation. Both players are adamant that once the support rendered for the Trinidad match, where Guyanese donned yellow jerseys at the venue, is replicated the locals could only get better.
Several corporate bodies came in for special mention including Giftland Office Max, Pepsi, Stag Beer and GT&T.
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