Women’s U-20 squad named for Concacaf Championship
The final roster for the Women’s National Under-20 team has been selected by Coach Ivan Joseph and his staff and Guyana is looking to field its strongest ever team at that age group for playoff matches that will be held in the Dominican Republic.
The final squad includes several newcomers, including Goalkeeper Raven Edwards-Dowdall, Midfielder Shanice Alfred, Forward Makayla Rudder and Defender Anaya Johnson.
These four players join a contingent of players who helped Guyana qualify for the Under-20 Concacaf Championship for the first time in Guyana’s history.
The progress made by the Women’s programme has been notable with the U-20 and U-17 teams both advancing to the Concacaf Championships. Guyana’s U-20s begin their group matches on February 23 against Nicaragua and are looking to have a strong enough showing to advance out of the group stages.
“The coaching staff and players have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming CONCACAF women’s under 20 championships,” said Coach Ivan when asked to comment on the team’s preparation so far.
“It is our hope that we will make our country and all our fans proud of our effort and commitment on the field. Mexico, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico are all formidable opponents in our opening Group D round-robin pool. All three teams are ranked ahead of us in our pool with Mexico leading the way as the number two-ranked team in the tournament. We will need to play at our very best and hope to get a bounce or two in our direction to advance to the next round,” he added.
In an invited comment, Paul Beresford, International Director of Women’s Programmes, said much has been achieved since the relaunch of the women’s programme in 2017.
“With the support of the GFF we have seen significant progress in Women’s football since the programme’s relaunch in 2017. From the senior team to the U15s, the women’s teams continue to make history. Additionally, we have seen excellent progress as we develop our young Guyana-based players who face very real obstacles to their development,” Beresford said.
He added, “The Federation along with the GFF International Support Group (ISG) continue to implement programmes designed to provide further opportunities to the Guyana-based players to progress and we are looking to the Guyana footballing community to continue to support women’s football players both in Guyana and internationally-based as they continue to represent Guyana in competitions.”
Guyana has been placed in Group D with Mexico, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico and group matches are scheduled for the Olimpico Felix Sánchez stadium, Dominican Republic as follows:
Sunday, 23rd February: Guyana vs Nicaragua at 19:00h
Tuesday, 25th February: Puerto Rico vs Guyana at 16:00h
Thursday, 27th February: Mexico vs Guyana at 19:00h
According to Concacaf, the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship will kick off with an initial group stage among 16 teams.
“After round-robin play, the top three teams in each of the groups will advance to the knockout stage, joining the four qualifiers winners – Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada. All knockout round matches (Round-of-16, Quarter-final, Semi-final and final) will be played in a single match elimination format, with the finalist and the third-place match winner qualifying to the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup 2020.”