Bounce Back Football an opportunity to assess national players’ readiness- Dover

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It is not the most ideal circumstances, but former Golden Jaguars Head Coach and current Junior National coach, Wayne Dover, has indicated that the Bounce Back Football tournament will serve as a good tool for national coaches to measure the readiness of local players for the busy international schedule of 2021.

With no Elite League, then COVID-19, senior local football for many associations has been at a standstill for quite some time.

Given the current circumstances, any senior competitive football seemed out of the equation, at least for 2020.

Coach Wayne Dover

However, a team effort by the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation, the Guyana Football Federation and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport has produced a four-team, two-day tournament, which starts Tuesday, at the National Stadium, Providence.

“It is important to know that they will be some form of organised football before the year is out and this must be encouraging for everyone,” Dover told News Room Sport Monday.

“This will work as a two-fold for the planned preparation of the senior national team for next year- it will serve as good opportunity for coaches to gauge where [the players] are and create the necessary programmes.”

Guyana will play two CONCACAF organised tournaments in 2021 – the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and the Gold Cup group stage qualification.

In the Bounce Back tournament, Dover will coach the Georgetown All Stars team, which boasts some of the promising youth talents in the country.

Guyana has a busy 2021 calendar and this tournament offers an opportunity to kickstart preparations

While winning is always an aim, in these circumstances, Dover pointed out, the objective is more on the youngsters getting a platform.

“For me it is much more about what we will achieve for the national team programme rather than my chances as a coach. What we do know, the entire group of players selected by the National team will be given the opportunity to have some playing and be able to stake a claim of getting into the [national] team.”

He added that his team certainly stands a good chance of winning the tournament.

Meanwhile, GFF Public Relations Officer, Keeran Williams, explained that the tournament is a “festival” and the first match will be at 17:00h, featuring East Coast All Stars against Linden All Stars, followed by Georgetown All Stars and West Side All Stars at 20:00h.

On January 1, 2021, the final will be contested between the two winners from 18:00h.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the tournament would be played behind closed doors, while the final would be carried live on NCN Channel 11, E-Networks and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s Facebook page.

Notably, all players had to undergo a COVID-19 test and produce a negative result to participate in the tournament.

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