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TDOs, YDCs ready for Scotiabank’s Academy Training Centres

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The nine Technical Development Officers (TDOs) and 14 Youth Development Coaches (YDCs) who will coordinate the new GFF-Scotiabank Academy Training Centres (ATCs) have put the final touches to their preparations, training with GFF Technical Director Ian Greenwood and his expanded, new team in Georgetown. This event was held at the National Resource Centre and consisted of classroom and practical sessions. 

“This stepping stone is going to be really fantastic for a lot of footballers,” said Ryan Alcides, the new TDO for the Rupununi region. “Football is going to the next level and I’m excited to partake in this programme. The impact is really going to help a lot of kids.”

“It’s going to have a real impact on the development of football,” said Georgetown Football Association’s (GFA) TDO Sampson Gilbert. “For years, we’ve been looking for a programme like this to move football in Guyana forward.”

The ATCs, a nationwide programme and the first of its kind in Guyana, was rolled out on Saturday with the East Bank Demerara Football Association (EBFA) hosting an academy session with young players from across the region. 

There will be 13 GFF-Scotiabank ATCs across the country in the first wave of the programme, designed to boost participation in football and to give the most talented boys and girls from the nine GFF Regional Member Associations (RMAs) the best chance to reach their full potential.

The programme is part of the GFF’s mission to reform and develop football, with the aim of putting Guyana at the top of football nations in the Caribbean. The GFF-Scotiabank ATCs will provide weekly training from grassroots sessions for 5-11 year olds to professional coaching for older boys and girls aimed at preparing them for the demands of international youth football.

“The country will benefit a great deal,” said Akilah Castello, a former women’s national player, who will be tasked with scouting and developing new talent in the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) region.  

“It’s the first time in Guyana we have seen football taken so seriously and seen women involved in this way. We will have more women playing, and that will encourage others to join. It will inspire others to come along and play.”

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