GFF president shines light on Golden Jaguars

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By Avenash Ramzan

The Executive Committee of the Guyana Football Federation is looking to “bring back the prominence to the Golden Jaguars brand” as the Senior National Men’s team prepares to take on Martinique in an international friendly on Tuesday (March 28) in Linden.

This disclosure was made by president of the Federation, Wayne Forde, at a press conference on the eve of the game. According to Forde, the lofty heights that the Executive Committee envisions cannot be reached by “simply participating in regional tournaments.”

GFF president Wayne Forde

“It’s not just a matter of brand recognition, it’s also doing specific things that will influence the quality of play as well, and if we can find opportunities where these guys can come together as often as possible and play against high-calibre opponents there is no doubt in my mind, and data and statistics will bear me out, that they will be able to finally, in a very consistent way, register that Guyana is in fact a force to reckon with in CFU, and in a not so distant future, beyond CFU,” the GFF head explained.

Forde pointed out that the Federation is committed to having Guyana play on every available FIFA playing dates, and in between those dates. The Federation already has three games lined up for the Golden Jaguars, Forde revealed.

“The strategy is very simple, it’s not complicated. We have some opponents that are lesser than Martinique and some of the other powerful guys, (and) for those encounters we’re going to be using an exclusive local based team. But because we’re placing so much emphasis on the Golden Jaguars brand we have to be very, very cautious that when we’re coming up against opponents that will bring the level of talent that Martinique is bringing that we do not put the brand out there to be slaughtered, for want of a better word,” Forde posited.

The football top brass indicated that the ultimate aim is to create a winning formula for the Golden Jaguars, with the hope of attracting corporate Guyana to tap into the product. Tasked with initially leading that process forward are Interim Head Coach Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover and new Assistant Coach Charles ‘Lily’ Pollard, who would be working in tandem for the first time against Martinique.

“I’m very pleased with the appointment of coach Dover. He’s been toiling in this regard for many, many years; he’s done tremendously well and I think the appointment was a no-brainer for us. I’m pleased to have Charles onboard. Charles has been one of the most outstanding players in Guyana’s football. He exemplifies discipline and the level of temperament that you want in a national player that is an ambassador for the country and for the federation and the fraternity in general,” Forde stressed.

Tuesday’s match will get underway at 20:00h at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground in Linden. Both teams head into the contest with defeat in their last game.  

While Martinique, who have qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, lost 2-0 to hosts Barbados on Sunday last, Guyana’s Golden Jaguars last played in 2016, losing 4-2 to Jamaica at the Track and Field Centre at Leonora. The outcome of the game will have no bearing on the teams’ rankings, as Martinique is not a member of FIFA.

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