Technical Director Claude Bolton said that he’s enthused about Guyana’s chances at next year’s CFU Futsal Tournament, set for January 22 – 26 in Cuba, as the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) wraps up its trials for team selection.
Approximately 30 players gathered that the National Gymnasium for the three-day trials which was conducted by Bolton with assistance from former men’s National team head coach Denzil Thompson.
Bolton, who also served as the head coach for Canada’s National Futsal team, explained that the squad will now be trimmed to between 16 and 18 players. The players will be part a minicamp from January 9 – 11.
“It was unfortunate that with the zeal that was represented on the field that we can’t take everyone and invite them into camp because all exhibited the enthusiasm that you would want a player have for the game” Bolton said when asked to comment on the talent displayed and team selection.
Guyana will be placed in Group ‘A’ with Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and Haiti, while in Group ‘B’, host Cuba will be joined by St Maarten, Costa Rica and Guadeloupe.
The top two teams from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) tournament will advance to the CONCACAF Futsal Championship. The 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championship will be held in Costa Rica in May.
“We have a far way to go in Futsal” Bolton said, while adding “but in our understanding of the small sided format and the skill level, the skill displayed was a level of commitment”
Bolton pointed out that the team is expected to have “some sort of competition” prior the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) event, but much depends heavily on the funds available.
“Guyana participating in this tournament has a lot to do for us (the GFF) seeing where we are in Futsal, since we’re attempting to develop all areas of football. We’ve planned that this will grow in years and will also help the Futsal programme as we move forward” said Bolton.
Same as previous editions, the CFU Futsal tournament acts as the CONCACAF qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The top four teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia as the CONCACAF representatives.
Guyana last participated at the CFU Futsal Tournament in 2008, finishing fourth behind winners and host Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti (second place) and Suriname (third place).