By Santokie Nagulendran
This week has seen the spotlight of International football turn to the next generation of Guyanese stars: the under-23 team, who are taking part in regional qualifiers for next year’s Olympics, to be held in Brazil. The squad
Guyana sent to take part in the qualifiers, held in Antigua, have lost their first two games and been eliminated with a game to spare. Despite being a talented group of players, the odds were always stacked against the team, as scarce resources and no time to play as a unit have been afforded to them.
The squad chosen by Coach Jamaal Shabazz contained a few players who have experience of Senior International football, such as Trayon Bobb, Daniel Wilson and Pernell Schultz, as well as 19 year-old goal-keeper Anthony Whyte, who featured in Guyana’s friendly against Grenada in March. In addition, Kadell Daniel, a talented youngster who plays in England, was also added to the squad, so this is a team with a lot of raw talent and wealth of experience. Marcel Barrington, a tall, talented striker who also plays in England and featured briefly in Guyana’s 4-4 World Cup draw against St Vincent two weeks ago was called up to the squad, but had to return to England in order to take part in club trials.
However, this is also a team whereby many of the players have been without regular football for over a year, and before their first game on Wednesday, had never played a competitive game together as a team. Jamaal Shabazz used to have a Guyana ‘B’ team in 2011/12 containing younger players that regularly toured the region in order to gain match experience. Since 2012 however, as with Men’s senior football, there has been no development of that concept, and the results this week in Olympic qualifiers merely demonstrate how much of a detrimental effect this has had on the nation’s brightest prospects.
The problem is therefore a long-term issue and not one single person can be blamed, rather it is the culmination of nearly four years of administrative failings that have led to the poor results of recent weeks in Guyanese football at both Senior and Under-23 level. Without a league system in place, the players have not had the chance to develop in such a manner as Cuba and Antigua’s Under-23 teams have, and lack of finances meant that the under-23 squad were unable to arrange any practice games beforehand.
As with the Senior games against St Vincent, the Olympic qualifying games have shown Guyana what level the standard of football is at the moment, and what needs to be done in order for players at all levels to develop.
The u-23s play Aruba today in what is a match with only pride at stake, but hopefully lessons have been learned by the football fraternity and in four years, after a lot of hard work and investment, we will be able to say Guyanese football has developed to a point whereby the Nation’s teams can put up more competitive showings on the International stage.
Jul 07, 2020Over the last month, the Kingston Football Development Academy (KFDA) reached out to some businesses and Kingston residents near and far on an initiative to help provide COVID-19 relief hampers for...
Jul 07, 2020
Jul 07, 2020
Jul 07, 2020
Jul 07, 2020
Jul 06, 2020
The current attempts to rig the 2020 election, which have gone on for four months now have produced the incredible exposure... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders There have been unhelpful and destructive attacks by leading members and zealous supporters of the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]