The Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which begins with qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup for which the Caribbean Nations League is the gateway, began yesterday in Rio de Janeiro with Project 100.
Project 100, according to newly appointed head coach Michael Johnson, who is leading the biggest Technical Staff ever put together in the history of the GFF, is the goal of Guyana breaking into the FIFA top 100 rankings.
The core of the player pool is Guyana-based and involves mostly under-23 players, as the focus of this new project is to give the young players an opportunity to show that they have what it takes to be a part of this programme, Johnson stated: “This Project 100 is pretty simple, while we are here, we have a lot of young players who are given an opportunity to try and be involved in the qualification campaign for the CONCACAF Gold Cup starting in September. So this is a great chance for them to showcase themselves and to show that they really mean business.”
The former Jamaican national player noted that this is not just a camp to improve players, “It’s a camp that we’re saying to them, go and make yourself visible, make yourself known to the staff that you are capable of meeting the demands necessary to go and play or be part of this squad, come September.” Johnson reiterated that it’s an opportunity for the U23s. “Let’s have a look at them, let’s see which ones are capable of stepping up, not just on the field, also off it.” The programme in Rio at the Estadio Municipal Jose Maria De Brito Barros would be intense Johnson posited, referring to the fact that Monday saw the players being involved in three sessions, two on the field (morning and afternoon) and one classroom session last evening at the team hotel.
“They’ll be down time of course, we can’t go at this pace all the time, but what we wanted to showcase from the very first stage is that we are here to work; yes we want to have fun at the same time but we want to be doing things the right and proper way. That means we want to take them out of their comfort zone, we want to make them uncomfortable and see how they handle the training. We’ve also got some interesting runs for them just to see the character of them without the ball. So this camp is really about challenging them physically, mentally, tactically and technically.”
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