Guyanese is best young player at CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship
Guyana’s Jamal Haynes has won the Scotiabank Young Player Award at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, which was held in The Bahamas, after impressing fans and tournament organisers with a dazzling array of tricks and goals.
Guyana’s beach soccer national team, performing at this level for the first time, defeated Belize 4-1 in the group stages and Antigua and Barbuda 6-4 in the placement stages. Guyana finished 12th out of 16 teams.
Playing up front for most of the tournament, Haynes scored a hat-trick in the win against Antigua and Barbuda, including one of the goals of the tournament – a spectacular overhead kick that soared into the top corner.
The goal can be viewed via this link: https://www.facebook.com/concacafcom/videos/1439457799429835/. In total, Haynes scored six goals.
“It was a nice experience playing against the bigger nations. I feel really pleased knowing that I’ve played against players with a lot of experience and who’ve been to World Cup so my first-time performance in this tournament was excellent and I’m pleased about it. I am extremely excited collecting the award,” Haynes said.
The Guyana Football Federation is working to encourage more players to take up beach soccer, and to lay solid foundations for future success in the sport. Other smaller football nations have found success on the global stage through the development of beach soccer, including Tahiti, who finished as runners-up in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2015 and hosted the tournament in 2013.
“We are extremely proud of the progress that Jamal and the whole men’s beach soccer squad have made in the Bahamas during this tournament,” said GFF President Wayne Forde. “Jamal saw off a lot of very strong regional competition to win this award, and it is deserved recognition for all the hard work he has put into his game.”
“Jamal’s performances have been one of the clear highlights of the competition, at the heart of an exciting team that has placed Guyana firmly on the beach soccer map and given us every reason to be very confident about the future.”
GFF Technical Director Ian Greenwood said: “Jamal’s personal achievement is remarkable, given the limited exposure this squad has had to beach soccer at this level. It shows the strength of individual talent that exists in Guyana, which we are now working to harness and develop more effectively. Jamal and the team have improved steadily throughout their preparations and the tournament, and we have a promising platform to build on for the future.”