With the National U20 team’s first match of the Concacaf Championship just days away on November 2 against Guatemala, Head Coach Wayne Dover said the team has had a successful training period and he is optimistic that they will represent the country well.
This comment was made as the team had three training matches during the period and paid a courtesy visit to the National Milling Company of Guyana (NAMILCO) on October 22. Dover said the squad played two matches against two select Elite League squads and the Police FC respectively and while the results of matches were not the key focus, he was satisfied with the steady progress made by the team.
“Results in these games were not the main aim for us. We looked to see the level of implementation of the areas worked on, the execution of the game plan and the consistency with how they have been done. We tried to build on and correct those areas which were not as strong so we can be more effective. We saw an organised group of players who was collective in their approach and more disciplined to carry out their function.”
The Head Coach said the final training game, held last Sunday against one of the select elite squads with a heavy presence of current senior national players, was a “good test” as the team sought to have its shortlisted players best prepared: “The game was a very good test for us, which highlighted many areas that we had to return to the training ground to fix. The senior players provided exactly what we wanted and they tested the lads to the point that, at one stage in the game, we had to dig deep mentally to stay in the game and that was the highpoint for us as a staff. The lads showed a tremendous level of fitness and we saw a tactical display that clearly border on improvement from the previous games and even some of the sessions done.”
Dover said that the last two weeks were spent focusing on improving the team’s tactics to the level that could bring good performances and results: “We definitely will be going into the tournament very optimistically. We will make ourselves and the country proud. I want to implore the players and staff to continue working as hard as we have done over the past four weeks. I’m sure we’ll get the just reward.”
The team trained yesterday at the Carifesta Sports Complex ground which has been their training base. Meanwhile, during a courtesy visit to NAMILCO by 16 members of the team including technical staff, the company’s Managing Director, Bert Sukhai congratulated the players for making the team. He said football is a journey and he was very proud of NAMILCO’s role in the development of so many players that came through the youth programmes especially the GFF/NAMILCO Flour Power U-17 Intra- Association League.
Sukhai also stated his company’s continued support for the development of Football in Guyana and wished the players well. In extending best wishes, NAMILCO’s Finance Controller, Fitzroy McLeod, echoed Sukhai’s sentiments and said the players must grab the opportunity with both hands especially as scouts and other technical staff will be on hand to view their performance on the field.
McLeod stated that NAMILCO is interested in the total development of the person and is therefore happy when players have a balance between their academics and the game. He urged the players to represent well both on and off the field.
Other persons present at the visit were GFF’s President Wayne Forde and Ralf Hemsing NAMILCO’s Operations Manager. In an invited comment, Team Manager Daniel Thomas said the team was happy to have visited the company.
“The visit went well. The players expressed their appreciation to the company for sponsoring the U17 league. It is a sign of positive progression that so many players have played in the GFF/NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power National U-17 League so we have been able to see the transition and the graduation relative to their skill set and maturity as players and are happy about that. A lot of tem also represented Guyana in Martinique.”
The National U20 team is scheduled to depart on Sunday, October 28. Their match schedule in the first round is as follows: November 2 vs Guatemala @ 10:30hrs; November 6 vs Cayman
Islands @ 10:30hrs; November 8 vs Curacao @ 12:45hrs and November 10 vs El Salvador @ 19:45hrs.
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