With the Golden Jaguars mere days away from commencing what will be a historic Train/Play Camp in neighbouring Brazil that will last for two weeks, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Wayne Forde has stated that this new initiative is undoubtedly the way to go for Guyana.
In making this statement, Forde informed that it would have easily cost the GFF 7.5 million to play Grenada in a Friendly International so if that figure was to be the basic standard for playing such matches it would be an uphill task for the federation to undertake.
The GFF boss who recently returned from a fact find visit to Brazil was also able to secure this Train/Play Camp which will see the players being exposed to top quality football facilities, training and quality matches at a much less cost.
”When I looked at what it cost me to play Grenada and that was one game, I spent easily seven and a half million dollars to play a friendly in Grenada, that’s one game. I also looked at the fact that we have never really invested in a network and relationship with Brazil which is clearly one of the most powerful football nations in the world.”
Looking at this scenario, Forde said that his executive and technical team sat down and deliberated on it and figured out that four highly competitive matches within a country that is one of the best in the world whilst also opening up opportunities for local players there, made loads of economic and strategic sense.
”We’re going to have people there from our Brazilian network that we have established looking at the players, because one of the things that they want to determine is that if they were to open up opportunities for our players in their leagues, is which level they come in at.
So we will get four games, the coach will spend two weeks with the players, so we are talking about not just the physical and tactical aspect of the game, we are talking about the physiological aspect of relationship building, establishing trust, who you can rely on when the chips are down. You cannot get that in an international friendly, so this is bringing together a new staff and really making a family out of people that are coming from diverse backgrounds and different cultures.”
Forde posited that Michael Johnson, the first Guyana Head Coach to be the holder of a UEFA Pro Licence comes from a professional background and environment similar to that of Technical Director Ian Greenwood, while the majority of our players are local based and have not been exposed to such an environment.
”So to really bring everyone into a singular focus requires time to realise our theme: “One Team, One Dream; so the decision to go to Brazil for two weeks covers a range of strategies. One is that we want the Brazilians to have a look at our players; we want to give the new coaching staff as much time as possible with our players.”
The facility for the Play/Train Camp has been used by the Italy National Team for pre-season camps, Forde informed.
”So we want to inspire these guys, they come into this facility and we want to say to them, this is what it feels like if you commit yourself to a professional journey. It’s going to be a significant investment but if we calculate it against doing four friendly games, there’s no way we can get what we will get out of this by doing four friendly games which would cost us easily, about 30 Million dollars. We’re not spending anyway close to that here, so that’s the thinking behind going to Brazil.”
Forde boasted that going forward the GFF would be going to Brazil much more often since we are establishing strong relationships and ties with some of the top professional clubs.
”So we can actually go there, spend time, play games and train. What we are also doing is figuring out how to reduce the cost of getting there and staying there. This initial trip, we’re going to invest some money because we are getting to know people and we’re building relationships but going forward we’re going to do that in the most economical way.”
The Brazilian experience is the first step in what would be a long journey towards qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 2026. But qualification for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2019 is the immediate ambition with the stepping stone being the CONCACAF Nations League (CNL) Qualifiers which begins on Saturday September 8 for Guyana against Barbados, here.
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