GFF names 20-man squad for Concacaf Boys U-15 championship

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The 20-man shortlisted National Under-15 Boys’ team, in its final leg of preparation for the upcoming Concacaf Boys’ U-15 Championship at the IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida, USA, from August 4-11, is engaged in a series of training matches as the team seeks to represent the Golden Arrowhead with distinction.

The team played against the Pouderoyen FC U-20 team on Saturday and is scheduled to play two more matches against Santos FC on Tuesday and Buxton United FC on Wednesday prior to departure on Saturday, August 3. Both matches are scheduled for 11:00h.

According to appointed Head Coach Bryan Joseph, there are three objectives to the matches, which are open for public viewing.

“First, we’re trying to simulate the playing times and conditions we will be faced with in Florida to see how the boys cope with the high temperature and work out how we can best utilise the players without burnout. Second, we want to play against teams in which the style or method of preparation is unknown and try to impose our style of play and dominate and third, we want to play against tougher, stronger opposition…and to place the players in situations where they have to be motivated and driven to work hard as a group to compete.”

Commenting on the team’s performance in the first match, Joseph said that while “Pouderoyen did not come as strong as we had expected them to, we would have achieved probably 70% – 80% of what we would have wanted the team to achieve.”

Meanwhile, a 20-man squad has been shortlisted and engaged from an initial 40-man roster. It includes two Goalkeepers, four Defenders, 10 Midfielders and four Forwards with one international-based player in the form of Midfielder Joshua Kesney from Trinidad and Tobago.

The Head Coach said the six-week preparation, which has been rewarding to date, focused on the playing philosophy and style of play to be engaged in the tournament and also sought to identify the best available talent from across Guyana.

He said the core group is made up of players who have participated in the 2018 CFU Under-14 Boys’ Challenge Trophy.

However, he noted, only 18 will travel. Guyana has been placed in Group E with Nicaragua, Cayman Islands and The Bahamas and the match schedule is as follows:

Monday, August 5 at 09:00h – Nicaragua vs Guyana

Tuesday, August 6 at 11:00h – The Bahamas vs Guyana

Thursday, August 8 at 09:00h – Guyana vs Cayman Islands

According to Concacaf, the tournament will be played in two rounds as follows:

“For the first round group phase, the 42 participating teams have been divided into three divisions according to the Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Ranking as of 2019, ensuring sporting balance and a minimum number of four matches for each team.

Division One will be made up by the top 14 ranked Concacaf teams, as well as Slovenia and Portugal. The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each (Groups A-D).

After round robin play, the four group winners and the four second place finishers will advance to the quarterfinals to play for the Championship. The third and fourth place finishers will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division.

Division Two will be made up by the next 15 best ranked Concacaf teams and Israel. The 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four teams each (Groups E-H). After round robin play, the four group winners will advance to the semifinals to play for the divisional championship.

The second, third and fourth place finishers will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division. Division Three will be made up by the lowest 10 ranked Concacaf teams.

The teams have been divided into two groups of five teams each (Groups I and J). After round robin play, the group winners will advance to the divisional final, while the remaining teams will play an additional match to determine their final position in the division.”

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