Oct 20, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Senior Women’s National Squad has landed in Puerto Rico for a week-long encampment, including friendly matches against the hosts, as preparations intensify for crucial FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers next year.
The first round of qualifiers was rescheduled to February 2022 from November this year by Concacaf due to logistical problems posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Puerto Rico encampment is the first opportunity for international-based and domestic-based Lady Jags to train together since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
“We are looking forward to assessing our talent during the friendlies at the Puerto Rico camp,” said Head Coach Ivan Joseph. “While several key players will not be present, it will still be the first time I have observed in person several key players who I imagine will play a significant role in our efforts to advance out of our pool in February.”
“There will be lots of opportunities for emerging talent to make a case that they deserve to be in the final talent pool that will be selected to compete in the coming months,” Joseph added. The Guyana-based contingent of players has been in training for several months at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) National Training Centre in Providence, with several new faces and
seasoned stars hopeful of making the grade for World Cup squads despite a lack of game time due to the pandemic.
“I feel very confident ahead of these two upcoming friendly matches,” said midfielder and GFF Administrator Lakeisha Pearson. “The team has been training for the past few months and the players have really bonded and developed in all aspects of the game.
We have a balance of experienced and young players being called up for these fixtures and the team will have a chance to train together before the matches. We are going in confident and I believe we can be successful in these matches and make Guyana proud.”
While some familiar names will be missing from the camp, due to logistical and timing issues, particularly for players in North America, the squad will be enriched by the presence of professional goalkeeper and national captain Chante Sandiford, who is currently plying her trade in Iceland.
“I’m really excited about the relaunch of the program and that the team is going to Puerto Rico for training camp and friendlies,” Sandiford said. “The Federation has delivered on its promise to get us more time training and playing together, and this is an important step toward being ready to compete at our highest level for World Cup qualifying.”
The Lady Jags will play two practice matches against Puerto Rico on October 20th and October 23rd, which will serve as warm-up fixtures before Concacaf competition resumes in 2022. Guyana has been drawn into Group F of the Concacaf W Championship qualifiers with Trinidad and Tobago, Nicaragua, Turks and Caicos, and Dominica. The winner of the group will join the five other qualification group winners and automatic qualifiers Canada and the US at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship, which acts as the region’s gateway to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity presented to us by the Puerto Rican Football Federation,” said Paul Beresford, Director of GFF Women’s Programmes. “We intend to utilize these friendly matches and the training time to look at several new players who haven’t featured in the senior team before as well as welcoming back a few who haven’t featured since the women’s program relaunch.”
“The campaign will serve as an important building block as we prepare for the upcoming W Qualifiers,” he added. “Assembling the squad was a challenge given the lack of availability of players for various reasons. Thanks to members of the GFF, women’s national team staff, and our partners including those at Connections Travel for putting in the hard work needed to support the team in this very challenging and ongoing global pandemic.”Name Position Club
1 Chante Sandiford Goalkeeper Stjarnan FC
2 Natalie Nedd Goalkeeper Graceland Yellowjackets
3 Hasha Holder Defender Fruta Conquerors FC
4 Brianne Desa Defender Durham United FA
5 Samantha Banfield Defender Woodbridge Strikers
6 Ghilene Joseph Defender Titanes Soccer Club
7 Gabriella Salvadore Defender Prostars Brampton FC
8 Alleia Alleyne Midfielder Guyana Police Force FC
9 Tiandi Smith Midfielder Guyana Police Force FC
10 Serena Mc Donald Midfielder Vaughan Azzurri
11 Hannah Baptiste Midfielder Dulwich Hamlet FC
12 Shamya Daniels Midfielder Fruta Conquerors FC
13 Lakeisha Pearson Midfielder Guyana Police Force FC
14 Annalisa Vincent Forward GT Panthers FC
15 Shanic ‘Kaidy’ Thornhill Forward Fruta Conquerors FC
16 Otesha Charles Forward Gillingham FC
17 Audrey Narine Forward Pickering FC
18 Makayla Rudder Forward Unionville FC
Head Coach Ivan Joseph, Assistant Coach Akilah Castello, Assistant Coach Paul DeAbreu, Goalkeeper Coach Andrew Hazel, Fitness Trainer Nigel Joseph, Sports Science: Performance Analyst Tina Cook, Medical- Physiotherapist K. Dejardin. Operations: Director of Women’s Programmes, Paul Beresford, Team Operations Manager Andrea Johnson.
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