By Franklin Wilson
Following a solid display against Suriname which saw the Guyana’s Golden
Jaguars sealing a 2-0 win on Sunday evening last at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, Head Coach of the Men’s programme, Jamaal Shabazz has voiced his satisfaction with the level of maturity shown by Captain of the game, Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson.
Richardson who did not show up when the team was first called to practice has been known to be ‘own way’ at times which has not always seen him in good stead with the Coaching staff. However, a reformed Richardson was handed the Captaincy of the Golden Jaguars for Sunday’s match and lead with a high level of maturity displaying qualities which have impressed Shabazz.
The long standing Coach said that he felt Guyana did well and was happy for the win in front of the home fans, the Golden Jaguars avenging a 1-0 loss to the Surinamese when the two sides met on April 30th last at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium, Suriname.
Guyana had played with 10 men form the 12th minute after Clive Nobrega was red carded for a dangerous tackle. The goal came off the boot of Gregory Rigters in the 24th minute.
In that loss, Eon Alleyne who played well on Sunday night also had a good match almost scoring for the visitors.
Shabazz believes this is an exciting time for Richardson at this stage of his career where he was appointed Captain, provided leadership whilst also scoring both goals.
“Throughout the camp he has shown tremendous leadership, he’s helped to work with the younger players and this is a new Jackie Chan that we’ve seen that could be ultra valuable to the programme.”
Zooming in on the young players and their contributions to the game, Shabazz said the likes of Daniel Wilson, Trayon Bobb and debutants Dwayne Lindie, Alex Murray and Delon Lanferman did well and Guyana will be seeing and hearing a lot about these players in the future.
“I thought tonight we had some outstanding performance from Dwight Peters, Solomon Austin, Kester Jacobs and Quincy Adams as well.”
Looking ahead to the CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup and Guyana’s game against Anguilla, Shabazz opined that the players have demonstrated that the base of the team can be built here unlike when no football was being played as late as early 2015.
“Now with the advent of the Stag Elite League we have the team playing and competing and this is good for us. We have a good foundation at home and then we look to the overseas based players to provide that extra added attraction to the team.”
The plan of the Technical Staff is to take the players one day per week for the national preparations with their respective clubs having them for the remainder as they will be competing in the Stag Elite League Finale which continues tomorrow at the Tucville ground.
The national team will only have about five days in camp before the Anguilla clash but the fact that the players would play competitively twice per week is exactly what the doctor would have ordered, Shabazz noted.
Richardson in commenting after the match said the he was happy to have led from the front as he wants to prove to the contrary, that he is a good player and has the necessary leadership qualities to guide the next generation of Golden Jaguars.
“It was a good performance by the team and I wanted to show that I am a leader; people think about me wrong so I have proven them wrong. It’s a good team we have now especially local players and when we introduce the rest of players we have a good team coming up for the Caribbean Cup.”
The plain spoken Richardson said that as a new person, he has his sights set on becoming a Coach in a couple of years.
“So I have to improve on my behavior to coach and help the youngsters in the Jaguar team now to go forward.”
He said he spoke with the players prior to the match explaining to them the purpose and importance to win in front of the home fans and to also show that the Elite League is very strong.
Richardson also noted that the young players are listening and are showing a willingness to work.
“Tonight we played as a unit because we were training on one thing, just keeping good organization and everything else would come into place. It’s just discipline on the field.”
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