GUYANA has an appetite for the Women’s game, having some moderate success not that long ago. In 2010, Guyana’s National Women’s team, aptly named the ‘Lady Jags’, made history by qualifying for that year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup held in Mexico. Unfortunately, we were unable to find ways in which to carry forward enough momentum to establish a competition that would keep potential National Team local-based players consistently active in the game.
Due to this erosion in the Women’s game, it is imperative that we begin a two-pronged approach toward revitalizing and invigorating the development of Women’s Football. One arm will address and insure that girls have access at the youngest ages to the same programming as boys.
Secondly, by gathering, recruiting, and educating all those proponents and friends of Women’s Football, we will build the foundation for a competition that will be focused on aims and objectives.
We need women to play – now.
In 2015, the Next Generation Project will mark the implementation of a Women’s Development League (D-League) that will be a precursor to a full Women’s League within a 2-year period. In order to prepare for this League’s implementation, the identification of potential coaches, managers, male club partners, and existing female groups will begin immediately. The GFF Women’s Committee will be fully resuscitated to facilitate a Women’s Workshop & Conference that will aim to understand the challenges of attracting women to league play and will help us to identify possible candidates for a Women’s Development Officer.
The game will be modified, making a move to a small-sided version (6v6 or 7v7). Considering the small numbers of players presently participating in friendly competition, this will allow our efforts to focus on participation and technical development in a more intense environment. The League will be very careful to attempt growth slowly. A great amount of energies will be spent on Coach Education, as we need to make certain that our first focus is on the acquisition of the fundamental skills and simple tactical awareness necessary to play effectively, as opposed to winning.
The Women’s D-League will allow a humble foray back into international competition, with the aim of entering an event, if not qualification, sometime in 2016. However, more significantly, it becomes a beacon that we can point to when we are exciting our young girls in our Grassroots and Academy Training Centres about the prospects of this wonderful game.