TECHNICAL Director of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Claude Bolton yesterday rolled out a comprehensive plan for development of the game captioned, ‘Next Generation Project’. Bolton, who inked a four-year deal with the GFF in January, addressing the Media at a Press Conference hosted at the Federation’s Headquarters, pointed out that the ‘Project’ is one which is mandated by FIFA – the sport’s world governing body – to put Women’s Football, Grassroots Development and Youth Football at the forefront of their plan moving head, since Guyana is seen as a development nation.
First, in helping to get around the proposed plans faster and efficiently, the GFF broke down Guyana into three blocks/districts.
Georgetown, Bartica, Essequibo and West Demerara Football Association will fall under District One, while Upper Demerara, East Bank, East Coast and Berbice Association fall under District Two. District Three will be made up solely of the Rupununi Football Association.
The lengthy document, handed out to the media yesterday, was also delivered to the Federation’s member associations, imploring them to ‘get on board’ with the GFF’s initiative.
Apart from the aforementioned areas mandated by FIFA, the ‘Next Generation Project’ also focuses on Beach, Futsal as well as Coaching Development, Coaching Education and Mentorship programmes are also on the cards.
“Many persons have opinions on how things should be done in Guyana but we will take it from the players’ standpoint and make decisions that will be beneficial for the players,” said Bolton, speaking on how important it is simply to let children, especially those 6-12, feature.
An 8-10 week plan was mapped out and will be held twice yearly by the GFF’s Youth Development Officers.
The document, with regard to youth development, said that the GFF has a responsibility to create a quality programme from a foot-balling legacy perspective, adding that the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a guide for formulating optimal player performances at all stages of their evolution.
The GFF TD opined that national youth academies for both males and females will also be commissioned, noting that the federation will commence the venture this year with the Boys’ U-15 age group and an U-12 category which he (Bolton) deemed as an important age-group due to their long-term future within the national circuit.
Bolton said that the country has the potential to develop the sport, noting that females must be given the same opportunities as males to reach their potential. He noted this is the main emphasis of the programme.
According to the document, emphasis will be placed on the younger age groups through the respective youth academies and that a two-pronged approach will be taken to revitalise and invigorate the women’s game.
The document further noted that by gathering, recruiting and educating all those involved in the women’s game, a foundation will be created for the staging of a competition that will focus on the targeted objectives.
According to Bolton, coaching development directly impacts player development and that the lack of properly trained tacticians at all levels is a major hindrance to the development of the discipline and its practitioners.
He noted that while many individuals understand the game in depth, the country has lacked the guidance and tolls to impart the knowledge in developing players. According to the technical plan, the GFF will create a national coaching licensed structure that can support and sustain a minimum coaching level.
The document further said the programme will be structured with guidance from other CONCACAF nations to create parity with minimum international standards and it will also strive to achieve accreditation outside of the country.
The levels that will be a part of the programme are the D, C, B and A Licences as well as a Schools’ Certificate.
There will also be an Elite League Module for seasoned tacticians, coaching at the highest level locally to sit and discuss training methods and practices.