U-15 footballers depart for SOULIGA tournament

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Sixteen members of the National Under-15 team departed Guyana on Thursday for St. Martin to participate in the ‘SOUALIGA’ tournament, which runs from June 1-5.

The team consists of two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and four forwards from the following GFF-ScotiaBank Academy Training Centres (ATC)–  East Coast (four); East Bank (one); Georgetown (five); Rupununi (three); Bartica (one); Berbice (one) and one player from Region One. 

Technical Director, Ian Greenwood, said while the tournament in St. Martin will serve as preparation for the Under-15 CONCACAF tournament in August 2017, the long-term goal is to enable the development of the players for the senior men’s national team in five years’ time.

Additionally, it will serve as part of the development process for coaches: “Engaging in consistent international tournaments and fixtures are vital as we look to instill the National Playing Philosophy into the players as part of their long-term player development. Tournaments such as these are also being used as development tools for our coaches too as we look to implement the GFF National Coaching Philosophy.”

Following their creditable performance in the previous international fixture in French Guiana in December 2016, Greenwood is looking for an improvement on the team’s performances and tactical understanding of the game: “The Under-15s know that with the launch of the ATC’s, we are consistently looking to improve and develop the playing squad on a national basis so they will need to be positive, express themselves and wear the badge with pride at all times.”  

The squad, which was drawn from 25 players who were encamped from May 28-31 in New Amsterdam, is headed by Bryan Joseph and will play its first game against Haiti on Friday.  The SOUALIGA tournament will feature 10 territories including Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Martinique, St. Thomas and Tortola. 

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