By Rawle Toney
Jamaal Shabazz, head coach of Guyana’s Senior Men’s National Football team, earlier today released the names of his 25-man squad that will participate in the 2016/17 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Scotiabank Caribbean Cup tournament.
Guyana will kick off their campaign against Anguilla at the National Stadium on Tuesday March 22, having been drawn in Group 5 that also features Puerto Rico.
Shabazz called eight overseas-based players – Akel Clarke (Trinidad and Tobago), Neil Danns (England), Samuel Cox (England), Walter Moore (Finland), Brandon Beresford (U.S.A), Christopher Nurse (Puerto Rico), Marcel Barrington (England) and Anthony Whyte (Canada).
Alex Murray (Alpha United FC), King Austin (Alpha United FC), Joshua Browne (Alpha United FC), Kester Jacobs (Slingerz FC), Eon Alleyne (Fruta Conquerors FC), Vurlon Mills (Slingerz FC), Gregory Richardson (Pele FC), Devon Millington (Slingerz FC), Daniel Wilson (Alpha United FC), Dwight Peters (Alpha United FC), Quincy Adams (Slingerz FC), Clive Nobrega (Slingerz FC), Les Charles Critchlow (Slingerz FC), Tichard Joseph (Slingerz FC) Trayon Bobb (Slingerz FC), Konata Manning (Pele FC), and Delon Lanferman (Alpha United FC) are the other players, all based locally.
Anguilla, according to a release from the GFF, is expected to arrive on Sunday March 20. Guyana will then travel to Puerto Rico for their March 29 match.
Tickets are being sold at $1,500, VIP tickets at $5,000 and booths are being sold at $80,000. Booth cost include the ability to have a maximum of twenty (20) persons, six (6) car passes and food and drinks being brought to the ground.
The competition, which is scheduled to take place during officially-sanctioned FIFA international match periods giving Member Associations the opportunity to select their best possible teams, will kick off in March (21-29) with all of the countries except Haiti, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, who are all still participating in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Round two of the Championship is scheduled for May and Round three in October. The 5th Place playoff will take place in November and the finals in May 2017. The top four teams will qualify to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Since their 2018 World Cup qualifier against the ‘Vincy Heat’ (St Vincent and the Grenadines), the Golden Jaguars were dormant and now, head coach Jamaal Shabazz will reassemble his troops to better their 2007 showing at the tournament, where Guyana narrowly missed out on a spot in the semi-final and ultimately the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The 2007 edition of the tournament which started in 1989, was said to be Guyana’s best showing, with the Charles Pollard-captained side playing undefeated in Group I with wins over Antigua and Barbuda (6-0), Dominican Republic (2-0) and Guadeloupe (3-2) in French Island of Martinique.
In the final group stage which would have determined the CFU’s representatives at the 2007 Gold Cup, Guyana were placed alongside Cuba, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guadeloupe.
However, Shabazz’s men fell 2-0 to the Vincentians, defeated Guadeloupe 4-3 but in a game where they needed to win, Guyana played to a goalless draw against the Cubans, missing out on the Gold Cup on goal average.
Nigel ‘Powers’ Codrington was the 2007 CFU Caribbean Cup’s highest goalscorer with 11. Codrington is Guyana’s all-time leading goalscorer, netting 18 goals.