The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) held a press conference yesterday at its Head Office, Dadanawa Street, Section ‘K’ Campbellville to address key issues in football locally. Among the issues discussed was the impact of the Academy Training Centres (ATC).
Bryan Joseph, GFF Youth Development Officer (YDO): “We now have the nine academies functioning, doing six specific sessions per week at the Under-13, 15 and 17 levels.”
Joseph further informed that in the past, there was no national youth structure before the current GFF executive committee took over and, “This batch of players is the first experiencing this and success was garnered early in 2017 when Guyana won its first youth tournament after GFF had been in existence for some 114 years; a success which came directly from the ATCs.”
”The youth structure that is in place now have moved from 0 to 100 in about two and a half years which augurs well for football development in Guyana,” the YDO revealed. He also noted that the ATCs have approximately 16 players for each age group that are trained weekly, which equates to approximately 208 youngsters being exposed to certified ‘D’ License Coaches who are all following the technical guidelines that are part of the GFF’s coaching philosophy.
The ATCs are positioned in each Member Association (MA) of the GFF which sees the best youth players from active clubs being extracted to have elite training and it is evident that the Frank Watson Under-15 and NAMILCO Under-17 nationwide leagues have helped the success of the ATCs.
Joseph explained that during his youth football days, they were around three to four games a year being played at that level but the NAMILCO and the Frank Watson leagues have changed the dynamics of youth football locally, big time.
There were a total of 515 matches countrywide with over a thousand youth players involved in the NAMILCO U-17. The Berbice Football Association (BFA) had a 115 matches competed with the East Bank Football Association (EBFA) playing a whopping 185 matches in their respective zones. Meanwhile, the Frank Watson U-15 had similar figures.
Joseph noted that playing such a large amount of games is critical to player development which is in line with the GFF’s plan to develop a generation of players that will take Guyana to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
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