Former GFF Technical Director Claude Bolton breaks silence
Last week, news broke that Claude Bolton had resigned from his position as Technical Director of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).
The GFF’s Public Relations and Communications Officer Debra Francis, said that 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, 2015.
However, in a lengthy letter dispatched to the media this even, Bolton, explained in detail the reason behind his unexpected departure from Guyana’s football arena after implementing and overseeing several ‘game changing’ programmes and initiatives.
BELOW IS BOLTON’S LETTER IN FULL:
This will formally acknowledge my resignation as Technical Director for Guyana Football Federation. Although, it is not my ideal to step away now, a number of extenuating circumstances have lead me to this decision.
I am proud to know that I have been a part of a reformation of such an integral component of Guyana’s society.
I must opine that 3 major forces have collectively pulled Guyana’s Football from the doldrums of sport and disrespect – FIFA, the Normalization Committee, and the Guyanese Media.
The guidance and commitment of the world’s governing body to Guyana’s Football demonstrates an understanding that we have always had great potential but were in need of a recalibration. The support of the Howard McIntosh lead FIFA Technical Development Office for this Region should be praised. I wish to thank, personally, from that Office, Anton Corneal, Technical Development Officer, whose attention, expertise, and mentorship, has always been accessible. His wisdom and stewardship truly helped to chart our course and successes of this past year.
I must say that the FIFA appointed Normalization Committee (NC), lead by Chairman Clinton Urling, was the most uplifting experience of sporting administration that I have ever experienced. Each and every member, each and every day, ardently approached Football in Guyana as a tool of social development.
They are consummate professionals and asked question after question with an aim to reach decisions that could only benefit the game in the long term. The NC was meticulous and wise to chart out possible outcomes each and every time a decision was to be made.
There was always an understanding of the enormity of the task at hand, yet, a humility that kept them as servants to the game and its stakeholders. I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity and responsibility they bestowed upon me with my appointment. To the members of the NC, my deepest gratitude and encouragement that they each consider continuing their contribution to the game and sport.
Allow me to also extend a debt of gratitude to the local Media in Guyana. Your continuous support of the Technical programs that I unveiled must be commended. You have been keen in relaying the value of the programs that I was developing. Reporters were always available, which made our content relevant, regardless of opinions.
To me personally, each and everyone one of you has been professional in your approach, respectful of all requests, and understanding of my tasks. For this I thank you and return the respect.
To the Coaches that are pouring their heart and soul into this game, I admire you. What you have accomplished in the Elite League, in the Coaching Courses, in the everyday sessions trying to ignite our youth before the darkness hits, is nothing less than remarkable. You have done so much with what little resources you have, or do not have.
You are a special group, no one knows how special. Embrace the Coaching Association; engage together. It is important. You can shape it together.
The only piece that I was not yet able to shape was the inclusion of National Team Staff into the fabric of our Coaching Education and overall Player Development. Simply trying to inspire our game by words is far from enough. With the limited finances of Caribbean Federations, we need to make the best use of full time personnel. They should have much to offer by example, by being on the field, by guiding Coaches and Players regularly.
Most significantly, I wish all the best to the players of this great country for they have endured so much. From the National Team players lead by Chris Nurse, the first Elite League standouts like Gregory Richardson and Vurlon Mills, local pioneering women like Ruth George, to the skillful 8-year-olds in the Rupununi, all have saved the game by simply just continuing to play. That deep love of this beautiful game is what resonates with anyone who truly has football at heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
It has been an impressive start to the new GFF Executive Committee’s term. I trust that those that have stepped forward with Mr. Forde have responsible governance at the forefront of their agenda.
The approach that I have witnessed in this short time has been nothing less than professional. Structure seems to be an essential component to the ExCo’s vision and that bodes very well for our game. It is probably best that a group with a clear plan be given the opportunity to find the Technical Lead that will align exactly with the path they wish to chart. Such a synergy, if a completely open relationship, could have enormous benefits.
I am always to be a student of the game and a servant to Guyana’s Football Players. Perhaps, in the right environment, I may be afforded an opportunity to Coach and contribute to a Guyanese Team striving for a goal.
Once again, thank you to all of you that embody the love of the game.
Yours in Sport,
Former Technical Director
Guyana Football Federation