“It’s been an excellent two weeks, we’ve had fun, we’ve had laughter, moments of pain, moments of frustration but all in all its been an absolute wonderful camp”, the words of Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars, Michael Johnson, on the conclusion of the historic Guyana Football Federation (GFF) “Train and Play” Camp held in Rio de Janeiro, which saw a number of players, the core being Under-23, exposed to the new playing philosophy of the GFF.
A number of matches were played, which afforded the young players the opportunity to showcase their skills with a view of catching the eyes of the technical staff ahead of the kick-off of the Concacaf Nations League on September 6 when Guyana take on Barbados, at the Leonora Track and Field Facility. The Brazil “Train and Play” Camp also afforded the new staff, the largest that has ever been pulled together by the GFF, the chance to bond ahead of what will be an exciting period of history, according to Johnson, with the commencement of Project 100, which is cracking the top-100 FIFA rankings.
The former Jamaican player underscored the fact that a stronger relationship has been established among both team and staff with a thorough appreciation of how they are going to work: “Where we go from here is to keep the connections open and keep moving things forward. We’re going to be in Guyana in a matter of five days, so it’s a great opportunity again to get to connect with the staff, connect with the players and continue the process. Our job’s not just about the first men’s senior starting team, it’s also about the development of the younger players and the coaches.” The fact that Guyana has never qualified for a major tournament motivates this new team to work even harder, Johnson noted, with the first task being the CONCACAF Nations League match against Barbados.
“Having worked with the 23s and seeing some of the players that can breach that group, as well as having seen some of the names on that first squad that we’re picking, it’s really exciting and I can’t wait to get to work. What we are promising is a team that would be representative of Guyana, a team that’s going to play with vibrancy, fluidity and most importantly give 100% towards the country.” Opportunity for all stakeholders to believe in the journey Johnson, the leading tactician on this Technical Team, is of the view that this new journey needs the support of all stakeholders to make it a reality.
He posited that it’s not just about the players, the staff and the GFF but all and sundry. “It’s for everybody connected to Guyana to make history. I’m a serial winner, I’m fascinated with winning, I’ve been fortunate in my career to be a winner and it doesn’t stop, I want more success. I went to the Brazilian museum with the team on Friday and it really inspired and motivated me more to try and move things forward for a successful campaign for Guyana and I want everybody involved. The businesses, the government, the fans, we can’t do this on our own; we need businesses to reach out and sponsor areas of the GFF’s programme, which would really help drive things forward. I am fully committed, the staff’s fully committed to make sure that we give 125% towards the campaign for 2026, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and breaking that top 100.”
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