Jan 15, 2016 Sports
En-route to carving its place in history – Coach Rodrigues
By Franklin Wilson
Head Coach of Guyana’s National Female football team, the Lady Jags, Mark Rodrigues is quietly confident that this team, the most successful national team be it male or female will carve a place for itself in history come next month when the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in Texas, USA.
Drawn in Group B along with Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Canada, the Lady Jags will open their quest for Olympic Qualifying with a match against Canada on February 11 at the BBVA Campus Stadium, the feature match of a double header; T&T and Guatemala clashing in the opener at 6:00pm (5:00pm).
The 20-member team which will once again be Captain by the indefatigable Ashley Rodrigues who has been at the helm of the team since 2010 was involved in a Training Camp in Canada from January 1 – 6, 2016 and has committed to a complete lifestyle change leading up to next month’s challenge.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport, Head Coach Rodrigues said that the team is focused on the task at hand to the extent that while they are not encamped like Canada, Strength and Fitness Coach, David Lawrence has a constant tap on his charges.
“Lawrence has sent all players personalized fitness programs which they are performing with a fitness coach where they reside, reporting their results back to him every Sunday for review and discussion with the coaching staff. I am also in constant contact with the players. This never ceases and is only intensified pre competition.”
Rodrigues who has been at the helm of the Lady Jags program ever since its inception prior to 2010 believes that the achievement of this flagship team is deserving of more support.
“The international recognition that the Lady Jags have brought to our country presents our government and private sector with an amazing opportunity to financially support an international friendly in Guyana against a quality opponent on Saturday January 30th.
This would help significantly in our preparation complimenting the limited time for preparation that we have had so far for every round of competition.”
Notwithstanding this challenge, Rodrigues believes that the Lady Jags program has adopted to suit the local challenges.
“We have consistently understood the financial challenges of our country, and worked closely with the administrations to date on our respective challenges to consistently achieve the level of success that we displayed to date. This understanding continues and we will continue to reach for greatness with our hearts and abilities and love of country. The lady Jags will carve their place in history in Houston, Texas in February 2016.”
Lady Jags Team for CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship
Goalkeepers: Chante Sandiford, Simone Busby, Ruth George
Defenders: Julia Gonsalves, Kelly Pelz-Butler, Justine Rodrigues, Briana DeSouza, Bria Williams, Leah- Marie Ramalho, Kayla DeSouza
Midfielders: Ashley Rodrigues (Captain), Mariam El-Masri, Alison Heydorn, Kailey Leila, Ashlee Savona, Dana Bally, Olivia Gonsalves, Brittany Persaud
Forwards: Calaigh Copland, Otesha Charles
Technical Staff: Head Coach – Mark Rodrigues, Assistant Coach – Clement Brown, Goalkeeper Coach – Richard Reynolds, Manager – Sheron Abrams; Physio – David Lawrence; Team Doctor – TBA.
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