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U-17 footballers off to Martinique

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The Flour Power National Under-17 Boys’ team got into shape for the 8th Tournoi International Paul Chillan in Martinique this week with impressive victories against Rosignol United and a Berbice Football Association (BFA) select Under-20 XI during an intensive training camp in New Amsterdam.

The national youth side, which shortlisted 16 players following encampment, plays its first match in Martinique on Thursday, against Guadeloupe. The competition also features national youth teams from French Guiana, Haiti and Guadeloupe.

Guyana’s Under-17s beat a select BFA XI 4-1, with goals from Zian Gray, US-based Joshua Ferreira, Nixon Robertson and 14-year-old Rupununi winger Orville Daniels. A second warm-up match saw the side overcome a two-goal deficit against a strong, new Rosignol team to win 3-2, with goals from Robertson, Rondel Peters and Cecil Jackman. 

During the seven-day camp, the squad worked on a range of individual skills, tactics, set pieces, match situations and fitness drills, with a focus on helping the players to understand and implement the new national football philosophy. There was also a media training session facilitated by Debra Francis, Communications and Public Relations Officer, GFF.

The GFF is focusing on developing youth football to lay strong foundations for the future, with more training, preparation and competitive matches for the youth national teams as part of a plan to raise standards and to give young players more international exposure. 

“What we are looking to do is to make everything as professional and up-to-date with what happens in the rest of the footballing world,” said GFF Technical Director Ian Greenwood. “So, myself and the rest of the coaching staff have worked extremely hard to get across the messages of the national playing philosophy to the boys. All in all, it’s been a great week.”

The camp squad included US-based attacking midfielder Joshua Ferreira and three players from the under-15 national team – Orville Daniels, Troni Semple and Jermaine Garrett.

“We cry together, laugh together, eat together … do everything together,” said US-based player Joshua Ferreira. “There is a togetherness in the camp and, at the end of the day, that is why I think we will go out there (Martinique) and do good.”

Greenwood, GFF Youth Development Officer/Under-17 Head Coach Bryan Joseph GFF Goalkeeping Coach Eon De Veira and GFF Technical Development Officer/Under-17 Assistant Coach Gilbert Sampson led the sessions.

The Tournoi International Paul Chillan is an annual international youth tournament that brings together mainly French-speaking Caribbean nations to promote football development. 

The GFF believes that exposing its youth players to teams from French-speaking Caribbean footballing nations that are supported by the French Football Federation, such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, will accelerate the advancement of Guyana’s national sides. 

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