Jan 13, 2015 Sports
– 26 local players shortlisted; Nurse, Smith & Emery Welshman are foreign based
By Franklin Wilson
Determined to see Guyana’s football return to a stable platform in every regard, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Normalisation Committee (NC) yesterday appointed Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz as the Head Coach for the upcoming friendly international against Barbados on February 1, 2015.
NC Chairman, Clinton Urling yesterday presented Shabazz to the Media and Nation stating that the move to bring back the successful Coach was necessary given the short timeframe they had to act after receiving the invitation to play from the Barbados Football Association (BFA).
This is the fourth coming of Shabazz to Guyana, a nation that he took to its highest ever FIFA World Cup performance, the third stage of qualifying playing against the likes of Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
In his initial remarks, Shabazz stated that it was a pleasure to be back in Guyana and among friends with absolutely no enemies. He noted that the successful achievements of the past were as a result of collective efforts.
“I find the unity that I found in working in football here in Guyana with Coach Dover and others, the relationships we’ve built as a staff transcends what one person would have brought to the table. I want to say this again publicly, the achievements we made were always a collective one and every time we got a result for Guyana it was based on a collective effort.”
Shabazz, while stating that football here is at a very difficult period reminded all that going forward in a successful manner would need the positive contributions of all the stakeholders on and off the field of play.
Being his usual philosophical self, Shabazz invited the NC, his Technical Staff as well as GFF staff to hold the Golden Arrowhead with a football placed on it to symbolize that a collective effort is need to ensure Guyana’s success.
“I appeal to all the factions in Guyana’s football that this is about players and the game has got to move on without the fighting and the animosity and the warring. FIFA has come in and made a decision and they have brought a leader to settle and place Guyana’s football in the rightful place.”
Urling in response reminded that the “Mantra” of the NC is one of a united Guyana Football Federation, “That’s the only way the sport can grow and move forward and we talk about not just the employees but everybody in this room including you the media. Hopefully we can lay a firm foundation as we move forward”, Urling underscored.
Shabazz in announcing the 27 local players that would have been called up for trails informed that former Captain and midfielder Chris Nurse has made himself available to play against Barbados as well as defender Jamaal Smith and newcomer, Canadian forward Emery Welshman whose parents are Guyanese.
Welshman, who currently plays with Sigma FC in the Ontario League 1, played for Major League Soccer side Toronto FC and the Portland Timbers FC. He is coming on a try out and once he is up to the level required would be called to the national team.
The local based players called are: O’Neil Carter, Oswald Cornett, Omallo Williams, Travis Henry, Solomon Austin, Kris Camacho, Quincy Madramootoo, Trevon Lythcott, Dwain Jacobs, Amos Ramsey, Daniel Wilson, Keron Solomon, Sheldon Holder, Clive Nobrega, Colin Nelson, Dwight Peters, Tishard Joseph, Dwayne Lawrence, Domini Garnett, Travis Hillman, Rawle Gittens, Denver Dennis, Calvin Sheppard, Joshua Brown, Eusi Phillips, Vurlon Mills.
Technical staff: Jamaal Shabazz (Head Coach) Wayne Dover (Assistant Coach), Trevor Burnette (Equipment Manager), Faizal Khan (Manager of Administration/Commercial), Mark Xavier (Manager of Operations), Anson Ambrose (Trainer), Andrew Hazel (Goalkeeper Coach), Debita Harripersaud (Physio).
Based on performances, the local based players will have the first opportunity to make the team according to Shabazz who has never lost touch with the game locally.
“It makes more sense because they are available and we are seeing them every day and know what they are doing. But we can’t discount what the players bring who play at a higher level because we know a lot of football is not going on in Guyana now.”
The focus for now the Head Coach and Chairman of the NC informed would be on the Barbados game. Also present at yesterday’s presser was Technical Director Claude Bolton, who welcomed Shabazz’ appointment, pledging that they will all work together for the good of Guyana’s football.
Encampment and training will commence on January 22 with the team expected to be trimmed to the travelling 18 a few days before for the Land of the Flying Fish.
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