19th March, 2016; Georgetown: Four members of the executive committee of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), including President Wayne Forde, met, interacted and had dinner with members of the Golden Jaguars on March 18, 2016 at the commencement of the camp.
In giving brief remarks, the president emphasized the importance of team work. “You are your brother’s keeper. Each and every one of you should have the trust of the other guy that’s beside you and have the confidence that that guy has your interest”.
In so doing, he expressed the support of the GFF’s executive committee and the Guyanese public to the team and called for their involvement. “You are the ultimate football ambassador. Every benchmark we’d like to reach over the next few years; you’ll be the pioneers of that. So it’s important we forge a partnership.”
The president indicated that despite the challenges, the GFF will pursue the national football programme. He said with the steps made to date and increase in the brand, he expects more sponsorship and funding of the national programmes. In closing, he thanked the players for the hard work and commitment and indicated the executive body’s continuous support of the team.
In response, Head coach Jamal Shabazz expressed his gratitude for the visit of the team and the interaction between the executives and players. He underscored the importance of a unified football fraternity which puts country first. “What we have seen so far from the new executive is that willingness to communicate, to interact and to reach out…we saw Mr. Lovell talked to us (last International Friendly)…and it was the last thing we discussed before we went on the pitch and that type of interaction is necessary”. He added that it’s the country which advances in football and not a national team and extended an invitation to the executive for continuous visits to the team.
The other executives at the dinner were First Vice President, Mr. Bruce Lovell, Second Vice President Mr. Rawlston Adams and Third Vice President, Ms. Thandi Mc Allister.
Meanwhile, in an invited comment about the team’s preparations for the ScotiaBank 2016 Men’s Caribbean Cup Championship on Tuesday, 22nd March, 2016, National Coach Jamal Shabazz said despite challenges to get a proper venue for training, he is a happy man. “I am pleased with the spirit and camaraderie within the team. Guys are helping each other and working hard for the team. When you have everyone eagerly competing but senior guys like Richardson, Nurse and Mills still helping teammates, it’s a good vibe.”
Noting the perennial problem of good training facilities, Shabazz stated, “Having a proper training pitch is the one thing I pray for Guyana to acquire. It’s a huge challenge but total credit to the players for still giving of their best under these challenging circumstances.” Looking ahead to the next two training sessions, the veteran Trinidadian Coach is looking forward to three more overseas-based players to join the team on Sunday, 20th March. “They are going to meet a very disciplined squad focused on achieving our objective”