Newcomers Gorden, Ondaan relishing Golden Jaguars experience
The way they have blended into the Golden Jaguars’ set up suggests that they have been around before but they have not.
The duo, 25-year old Torell Ondaan and 20-year old Liam Gorden, the former based in Holland and the latter who plays in England, donned national colours for the first time against Bermuda on Thursday night last.
They both joined the Guyana National Senior team at an historic juncture as the nation, for the first time in its 117-plus year history, has qualified for the premier tournament in the Concacaf Confederation, the Gold Cup.
Speaking with GFF Media, both young men have said that they are excited and gratified at being given the opportunity to represent Guyana and will strike to represent with pride. Torell Ondan, who plies his trade at SC Telstar in Holland, described his feelings on making his debut as amazing and something that one cannot really describe:
“The feeling is so amazing to be a Guyana player. It is one of the biggest dreams for me because I come from Holland, I’m born there but I always like to go to Guyana to see everybody, to feel everything about Guyana.”
He noted that whenever he travels to Guyana he feels all the love, “That’s why this is the biggest dream of my life.”
Born to Guyanese parents in Holland, Yonette and Lionel, and playing at the Second Division Level, Ondaan describes himself as the easy guy; he sees himself as a team player and has already felt the warmth of his teammates even though he has been with the team just a matter of days.
“Everybody is so lovely and nice to me and I am still grooving into the team. I will see what I can do for the team, not for myself but more for the team. It’s amazing really, everybody is so nice, I didn’t expect that.”
Stating that this is home for him, Ondaan said his knowledge of Guyanese is that they are strong in will and is encouraging everyone, players and all, to work together as a family not as individuals. He is calling on fans and supporters to be persistent with the team.
“Stay patient, watch the games with all the love and don’t be aggressive if we miss chances or something, we are here now for the team, for the country and it’s amazing already that we have made it this far.”
Meanwhile, Liam Gorden, who celebrated his 20th birthday last week and plays as a defender with English club side Dagenham and Redbridge FC, described his debut as a massive opportunity.
“It’s the first time for me playing international football and it’s the best thing you can ask for, it’s better than club football, it’s a different experience. It’s a big thing for me and my family as well, just to recognise the Gorden name, it makes me proud that I am Guyanese. It’s a dream come true for me.”
Gorden’s grandparents are from the Ancient County of Berbice, his grandfather hailing from Belladrum. He notes that for the team to push on further there must be a collective effort fueled by a deep sense of togetherness.
“The only way we’re going to push on far is for all of us, management and players, to be together and want it, we know what the goal is and we know what to do on the pitch and we’ll do that. I just want the team to do well, doesn’t matter if I play or not, I’m part of the programme and it’s a massive opportunity for me as a young player to be involved in this. So I just want the country to do well and for everyone to recognize how good we can be.”
Young Gorden is calling on the fans and supporters to get behind the team and support.
“It’s the first time that Guyana has ever been in this competition and it’s a massive competition. As long as everyone is behind us we’ll do whatever we can to prove to you that we can do it and let everyone know what Guyana is about.”