GFF’s Technical Director Claude Bolton resigns
By Rawle Toney
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) today confirmed that Claude Bolton has resigned from his position as Technical Director, effective March 1.
According to the GFF’s Public Relations and Communication Officer Debra Francis, the rationale behind Bolton’s shocking exit was because “he’s unable to fulfil his mandatory residency”.
Francis said that the Technical Director Job requires that the person be living in Guyana on a fulltime basis and since Bolton started a new family, he would be unable to carry out the position he occupied since January 10 last year.
Sources stated that Bolton earned US$4,500 while an additional US$1,300 was paid monthly for his Kingston, Georgetown apartment. By the standards of the other Technical Directors in the Caribbean, Bolton was underpaid.
As per FIFA, the Technical Director is in charge of defining and leading the national technical development programmes, and developing long-term strategies in this regard for all aspects of the game, be it grassroots, women’s football, coach education or youth football, and to bring them together in synergy according to the development pyramid.
The employment of a Technical Director is compulsory for each Member Association, and FIFA devotes special attention to ensure that their status is always recognised to the appropriate level.
The GFF didn’t state when a replacement for Bolton will be named.
Bolton, a Canadian, signed a four year contract under the Clinton Urling led Normalisation Committee in 2015.
Under his tenure, Guyana saw the realisation of its first Elite League and pioneered the CONCACAF Club Licensing programme, which was used to shortlist and select the League’s eight participating clubs.
Bolton was also instrumental in introducing and overseeing the GFF’s D License Coaches certification; something which was done in phases from his `Next Generation Project’.
It was noted by Bolton, 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 plans 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 fell 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.
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.
Bolton, a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) in Canada brought with him over 15 years of professional coaching and technical experience, being those that have achieved some of the highest certification levels in North America.
He holds a United States Soccer Federation National “A” License, a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “B” License, and a English Football Association International Coaching Licence.
In addition, he holds National “A”, Goalkeeping, Fitness, and Youth licenses from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), and also holds a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Advanced Youth Certificate.
Prior to his appointment, it was stated, that the GFF received a total of eight applications from as far as Germany and England with some of Europe’s top guns all interested in working with the Golden Jaguars, but in the end, it came down to four – Bolton, Guyana’s Linden France, Trinidad and Tobago’s Rajesh Latchoo and Englishman Kevin McGreskin.