‘Lily’ Pollard appointed Golden Jaguars Assistant Coach
- Local-based squad reduced to 26
A 26-man Guyana-based Golden Jaguars squad has been shortlisted as preparations intensify for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League match against Belize on March 23, 2019, in Guyana.
The squad includes three Goalkeepers, eight Defenders, six Midfielders and nine Forwards who have been shortlisted from an initial 35-man squad that has been in training for the last two weeks.
Former national defender, Charles ‘Lily’ Pollard, who has been appointed as Assistant Coach and has been working with the team, said the shortlisted squad is solid while noting “players being able to perform at a high level under instruction” was among the criteria used for selection.
The team will be engaged in an eight-week weekly training programme before the final squad is announced to engage Belize. Pollard said that the time should be good to enable the team to be in shape for final selection.
“In the next eight weeks, it will give everyone a level playing field and an equal chance to make the final 23. Fitness, developing their football IQ, awareness and tactical soundness will be the focus.”
For his part, Pollard was happy to be back in the national setup and contribute to the football development in Guyana.
“I’m excited go work with the team; it’s a very good group of guys. I will share all the knowledge that I’ve got. They are very excited to be part of the programme so I’m looking forward to a good eight-week preparation and, at the end of the preparation, the best guys will be selected.”
Meanwhile, Head Coach Michael Johnson is expected to arrive in Guyana this Friday for an initial nine-day visit to participate in the national team’s training, and plan for the match against Belize.
While here, he is also scheduled to view the GFF Elite League Playoff scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, the GFF-Pele Alumni Frank Watson Under-15 Inter-Association Tournament finals, and the Golden Jaguars’ training match against the Regional Member Associations’ teams.
Victory in this Concacaf Nations League match is crucial to ensure Guyana qualifies for its first ever Gold Cup, and will be advantageous for not only the players but the country as a whole.
President Wayne Forde has therefore requested full national support, including corporate and fan engagement, to ensure the successful hosting of the match. The Concacaf Gold Cup brings together the top national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and is broadcast live across the region.
As such, the tournament would provide a significant platform for Guyanese football talent to showcase their skills on the international stage.
To date, Guyana is placed in eighth position on the points table following the penalization of Barbados for fielding ineligible players against Guyana resulting in the match being awarded to Guyana by a 3-0 margin.
The 26-man local-based Golden Jaguars squad: