15th April, 2016; Georgetown: The International Friendly between the Canadian Olympic team and the Golden Jaguars, scheduled for May 15, 2016 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence was officially launched today at the Boardroom, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) at 11:30hrs.
Sharing the head table were Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars, Mr. Jamaal Shabaaz; Midfielder of the Golden Jaguars, Mr. Eon Alleyne; Canadian High Commissioner To Guyana, Honourable Pierre Giroux and President of the GFF, Mr. Wayne Forde. The press conference was chaired by the GFF’s Public Relations and Communication Officer, Ms. Debra Francis.
In brief remarks, Shabazz said he is looking forward to the game: “It’s a great feeling to have a game lined up against the Canadian Olympic team. For our squad, we‘re very excited about the game; it provides a great opportunity to test the work that we have been doing over the past couple of months against a formidable opponent, an opponent that has qualified for the Olympics and one in only three teams in the CONCACAF region to do that and this makes them quite a force and the type of game that not only helps to prepare us not just for the CFU but for strengthening of the programme.” He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Guyana, the Canadian Government, GFF, the president of the Canadian Soccer Association and Alex Bunbury for the initiative.
Golden Jaguars Mid-fielder, Eon Alleyne, summed up his feelings: “At this moment, I’m speechless as this is a great opportunity for me. I’m really excited about it and I (wasn’t to) thank the Football Federation for making this possible, the Canadian government … Playing against Canada is like a dream come through to me because I never thought I would be playing at this level against a team like Canada.”
Canadian High Commissioner, Honourable Pierre Giroux said, “we also celebrate the 50th year of diplomatic relation between Canada and Guyana so this game fits very well in the series of events of celebration with the Guyanese people to commemorate the long relations, the very intense relations we’ve had historically. This game will the expression of this long term relationship and friendship that exists between the two countries so I’m very happy to associate myself with this game and I do hope that we will be successful in the game but I know we’ll have very strong competition so it should be a very exciting game and I’m looking forward to see all this.”
The President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, said he was pleased that the Government of Guyana (GoG) has included football as part of its Independence celebration and said football is a unifying force. “Football is a unifying force and the fact that diplomatic relationship between Guyana and Canada is at its 50 year mark is exceptionally fitting as the High Commissioner said earlier.” He expressed a call for national support of the game and emphasized the Canadian Olympic team as a worthy opponent. “This is a very important game. The Canadian Under-23 team has qualified for the Olympics and that is no simple accomplishment, that is no simple feat. They have done exceptionally well, the statistics are there, they are a very, very worthy opponent and they will be putting us to the test.”
The Golden Jaguars will face the Canadian Olympic team at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence beginning at 19:00hrs.
This game will be preceded by a matchup between Chase Academy, the 2016 Champions of the Under-18 Milo Tournament and Wismar/ Christianburg Secondary School, the 2015 Digicel School Football Champions at 16:00hrs.