Golden Jaguars can surprise T&T- Coach Maximo

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The Senior Men’s National Team will be highly competitive against Trinidad and Tobago in the first FIFA World Cup qualifier fixture in March and has a good chance of delivering a surprise, according to Golden Jaguars Head Coach Marcio Maximo.

The Golden Jaguars will face Trinidad and Tobago away in Group F of the first round of Concacaf qualifying on March 25, followed by a home match against the Bahamas on March 29. The domestic-based squad is currently in training five days a week at the Guyana Football Federation’s National Training Centre, Providence.

“We have a good chance to deliver a surprise. Trinidad has a track record as participant of the World Cup before, but nothing intimidates us. We know that a difficult challenge awaits us, but that is encouraging and motivating us to do better,” Maximo said.

“We go with a good possibility to make a surprise and we will be very competitive. You can’t predict a win, but what you can predict is a competitive game. We hope that we will take full advantage of this game. It is not only Trinidad, it’s the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Puerto Rico. The qualifiers are not the starting or finishing with Trinidad so we should make a good start to motivate us for the rest of the qualifiers,” he added.

Only the winner of Group F will progress to the second of three rounds of qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Maximo said he was impressed with the level of commitment shown by the squad as players work hard to regain fitness and secure a place in the final squad, after a prolonged lay off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you train hard with intensity, with tactical discipline and technical discipline, and a physical effort every day, that is reflected during the match,” the former Brazil U-20 and U-17 coach said.

“With our locally-based group, I can see a big development, according to the commitment, intensity and knowledge. They are growing in each training session.”

Coach Marcio Maximo has been working with the local based players at the GFF National Training Centre, Providence

The former Tanzania, Cayman Islands and Livingston coach supported the GFF’s policy of providing greater opportunities for domestic talent to break into the national squad, as well as bringing in the best overseas-based talent possible.

“Following the Federation’s policy, we need to give a chance to more local players to be part of the group. Internationally-based players are very important for us, with their experience, knowledge and tactical discipline, but together our group also has to be realistic about the development of football in Guyana.”

“Now more than 50 percent of the players are Guyana-based, so we are improving our local football as well as the hope of players to participate and even to go to international markets, especially the younger players.”

Maximo, who worked with Brazilian stars Ronaldo and Ronaldinho during his time with the Brazilian set up, said he could sense an increased interest and level of support among the public as the World Cup qualifiers edge closer.

“When go in the street, or take a taxi, I see that people feel more interested in football. I see more people with more hope in the Golden Jaguars now,” he said.

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