Guyana’s National Junior Men’s Hockey squad recently stepped up preparations for their first international assignment against their counterparts from Trinidad & Tobago, scheduled for December 15th to 19th, 2014. A 35 member squad has been in training for the past few months and the coaches have now selected an 18 player team to represent Guyana in the Twin Island Republic.
This is the squad’s first test in an ambitious three year programme designed to develop a team capable of being competitive at the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships in Toronto, Canada. Over the next two years the squad will continue to compete in all local as well as international tournaments in Trinidad and Canada as they build their capacity and experience ahead of the Junior Pan American Championships. Some players will also be sent on overseas stints with foreign club teams to gain exposure playing high level hockey on artificial turf.
This tour is designed to be a developmental tour with training sessions on the artificial turf in the mornings, followed by matches against the T&T junior squad and club teams in the afternoons. It will offer the coaching staff a good opportunity to assess the level of the locals in comparison to one of the top hockey playing nations in the Pan American region.
Although 14 of the 18 players selected will be making their international debuts, the squad also includes four players who were instrumental in the senior men’s team’s historic bronze medal finish at the Indoor Pan American Cup in Uruguay, earlier this year. Captain of the side Mark Sargeant will marshal the midfield along with, arguably the best player in the nation, Jamarj Assanah. Sturdy defender Andrew Stuart will command the back line, while stick wizard Aroydy Branford wreaks havoc on opposing defences.
Guyana’s National Junior Men’s Hockey Team:
Players – Mark Sergeant (Capt), Medroy Scotland, Kareem McKenzie, Keon McKenzie, Daniel Hooper & Shaquille Leung (GCC), Rosario Ramsammy (Marian Academy), Aroydy Branford, Andrew Stewart, Leon Bacchus & Jamarj Assanah (Hikers), Stephon Sprosta, Deheron Wilkinson & Omar Hopkinson (Old Fort), Hilton Chester, Paramanand Dindial, Ato Greene & Shemar Boston (Saints).
Coaches – Dwayne Alleyne & Robert Fernandes
Manager – Hubert Forrester.
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