Domestic-based Golden Jaguars players to resume training today

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The domestic-based Guyana Senior Men’s National Squad will restart training sessions at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) National Training Centre today (Saturday, April 17), in preparation for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches in June.

Twenty-eight players, who will undergo regular testing for COVID-19 while in training, have been invited to train for five sessions per week until the final squad is selected before Guyana takes on Puerto Rico and St. Kitts and Nevis in the last two matches in Group F of the first round of qualification.

Guyana currently lies third in Group F following a 3-0 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago and a 4-0 win against the Bahamas in the Dominican Republic in March. Only group winners progress to round two.

“The extraordinary domestic squad training arrangements, also deployed in the months before March’s games, have been arranged and fully financed by the GFF to provide players with a professional coaching environment to compensate for a lack of club and competition activity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” GFF said.

“In normal circumstances, national squads only convene for encampment in the days before international fixtures once released by their clubs and when the FIFA international window opens.”

Squads are also generally only announced in the days before the window opens, once it is clear which players are fit and available. “We’ll be looking to work on more technical and physical aspects for the next few weeks,” said Golden Jaguars Assistant Coach Charles Pollard.

“We will be looking for good commitment and attitude. We always know that the local players are never short of commitment and attitude – so that’s a plus.”

“We want to continue to build on their fitness and awareness and to get them to concentrate for longer periods of time,” the former national team captain added.

Twelve places in the 23-man final squad, which faced Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas in March, were handed to domestic-based players, including eight alumni of the GFF’s pioneering elite youth Academy Training Centres.

Goalkeeping coach Eon DeViera said: “With the goalkeepers coming back from a short break, we would like to reinforce the importance of the many games we have coming up in FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the Concacaf Gold Cup playoff. With respect to training, we will be focusing on strength training mainly for the next few weeks.”

The Golden Jaguars face Guatemala in part one of the preliminary round of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup in July.

The GFF has set the following key targets for the Golden Jaguars this year:

  • Reach round two of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
  • Improve on the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup performance, when Guyana secured one point in the group stage of the tournament

Guyana must win both matches against Saint Kitts and Nevis and Puerto Rico to have a chance of qualifying for round two of FIFA World Cup qualification. (GFF)

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