By Franklin Wilson
Head Coach of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) flagship team, the Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT), Márcio Máximo has stated that he is aiming to leave a lasting legacy as his job of developing the sport continues.
Máximo, in his first assignment as the leading technical tactician having been appointed last August 21st as Interim Head Coach for the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League (CNL) League B campaign following the resignation of former Head Coach, Michael Johnson who took up another appointment in England where he resides, has been working assiduously to improve the lot of the local players.
The Brazilian believes that apart from ensuring that the players are up to the task of delivering the goods, they are working on creating a new legacy as regards improving the quality of players. This is in keeping with the policy of GFF President Wayne Forde and is one of the main areas of focus that’s part of the mandate when Máximo was hired.
“Now the senior team has a total of 70% of players below 23 years-old so it’s a very young team but we should recover or rescue some players that have disappeared before as Guyana did not have a consistent senior team programme of training constantly.”
He noted that now there are consistent Under-17, 20 and Women’s team programmes which would be strengthened by the senior programme’s deliberate thrust to keep players together; emphasising the point of brining back talented players who would have been lost due to the fact that there wasn’t such a programme.
“We would have lost the generation of players about age 23 to 25 years-old and it’s our challenge now to recover this group. Of course, our priority is always qualifying but that cannot be the only focus. You have qualifying on the one hand and long term development on the other hand. We want to see Guyana go to the Gold Cup but it must be consistent qualifying not just, sometimes. So our job is very comprehensive, not just competition but also real long term development.”
The GFF has also been purposeful in ensuring that the current Under-20 team and their senior counterparts interact as much as possible as they both prepare for important assignment. The two teams, inclusive of the Technical personnel work together on Saturday mornings at the GFF National Training Centre which compliments their individual training sessions during the week.
The senior Golden Jaguars are preparing for their 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup two-round qualifier against Barbados in March, the dates and venues are still to be announced by Concacaf, while the Under-20s are getting ready for Group A play in the 2020 Concacaf Under-20 Championship Qualifiers which have been fixed for Nicaragua from February 15-23.
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