With about 80% of the squad unfit, the Technical staff of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Men’s Olympic Squad face an uphill task of whipping the team into competitive shape ahead of next month end’s Olympic Qualifiers.
Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz shared these sentiments yesterday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence when the squad commenced the first in a series of weekend camps being sponsored by friends and well wishers.
Four intense sessions would be held according to Shabazz who said that the players would then return home to vote.
“Next weekend we come and do the same. We are hoping because of resources that these weekend camps could start building up the players. Luckily for us there are a group of players like Daniel Wilson, Joshua Brown, Jermaine Junior who‘ve been in the senior squad and they have a decent level so all is not doom and gloom.”
The likes of overseas based Pernel Schultz, Trayon Bobb, Domini Garnett along with the White brothers from Canada would all come into the squad at a decent level of fitness Shabazz noted.
Efforts are in train to play against a Brazilian Club team at the end of this month in a warm up game, while matches would also be played against the senior National team which would also be training for their World Cup Qualifying away and home matches against St. Vincent & the Grenadines early next month. Slingerz FC is also on the radar for a warm up game.
Meantime, Shabazz is not happy with the lack of competitive football at the level of the associations.
“For me the associations are more concerned about the constitutions and who are in charge and less concerned with having football played in their associations, How Could this be?”
He noted that the players from Linden are very talented but totally unfit. “Across the board, we need to have football playing because the national team is not the place to get players fit. When you have eight to ten days to prepare a team for international tournament it is just to organize them tactically.”
The plain spoken Shabazz stated that now they have got to place a lot of emphasis on getting the players up to fitness standard which means somebody has not done their job.
“And if somebody not doing their job, then we need to get people who will do the job for them. If I’m not doing my job they have to get somebody to do my job and same way if administrators not doing their job we’ve got to get administrators who will do the business of organizing football.” (F. Wilson)