Fruta Conquerors on campaign to raise funds for Caribbean Club Shield participation

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Guyana’s reigning Elite League Champions, Fruta Conquerors Football Club will need to raise G$3 million to properly prepare and ensure their participation in the upcoming Concacaf Caribbean Club Shield Championship. The tournament will be played in Curacao from April 23 to May 2.

While the players are focused on their on-field preparation, the executive members of Fruta Conquerors FC are working overtime to ensure the financial requirements are met.

Club President, Colin Gittens said they have raised approximately G$600,000 in pursuit of the required G$3 million.

Thus far, support has come from Singers, Guyana Lottery Company and Everest Cricket Club among others.

“We have a bare budget of about three million dollars and this will cover our preparation cost, stipend for players and coaches and also our travel cost, which is the biggest part of it all,” Gitten explained to News Room Sport on Tuesday.

The total budget for the championship is about G$8 million, but Concacaf is expected to give about US$ 15,000 to offset travelling, which leaves the Tucville-based club needing G$5 million, but they have managed to reduce that to G$3 million.

“We know the importance of this competition, not only to the club but to the players, the young players who are going to take part in this competition…we know with the help of corporate Guyana we can make this happen.”

Fruta Conquerors FC President, Colin Gittens

Gittens explained while they have not gotten assurances from anyone, in the past the Guyana Football Federation has committed to significant assistance, especially in 2019 when they last attended.

He also said the Government of Guyana is “fully on board this venture” after they met recently with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd.

The club President also said that the plan is to reach out to the Sport Minister for assistance, since this championship allows them to showcase the youth of Guyana.

“It is an opportunity to show off young talent; at these competitions, what happens a lot of young talents are spotted and other clubs overseas may spot a talent and may want to sponsor them in going to College or play in a bigger League…it is an opportunity for the players and we know a lot of the players who are involved in football do not come from uphill societies, they are from less fortunate areas and these are the people who need the help,” Gittens contended.

In a bid for clubs in Guyana to become more financially stable and be able to regularly attend overseas tournaments, clubs need to present feasible marketing options to the corporate community, according to Executive Member Samuel Arjoon.

“The capacity to run the club like a business and that is taking it professionally. What clubs with that model bring to the table is the exposure, in terms of their social media page and all of these things can be monetised – the T-shirts, the apparels at each part can be sold – and making it a club not coming hat in hand to corporate Guyana.”

Arjoon added, “The perception with sports in Guyana is that clubs come begging but clubs can change that and come with a business proposition to corporate Guyana and present the case as to what they will bring on the return in investment for the company.”

A contingent of 23 (18 players and five management staff) are eying to arrive at minimum, two days prior to match day on April 23 since no quarantine is needed.

However, the contingent needs to return two negative results on their PCR Tests. In 2019, Conquerors played three matches, losing two and drawing one.

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