Domestic-based Lady Jags kickstart training this weekend

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The long road to Australia and New Zealand begins this weekend, as the domestic-based senior women’s national squad starts its preparations for 2023 FIFA World Cup qualification.

On Saturday, following testing for COVID-19 this week, the Lady Jags will begin sessions at the GFF National Training Centre at Providence, with training set to run until the final squad is announced ahead of the first round of CONCACAF qualifying fixtures in November.

“We are delighted to have the Lady Jags commence their important preparations for these crucial games,” said Guyana Football Federation President Wayne Forde.

“We all know the record of success that the Lady Jags has achieved in recent years. The GFF is investing in this extended training regime and all other necessary measures to ensure this success continues this year.”

“We are confident that this generation of players can take us to the next level, especially as more young players come through the ranks via GFF’s youth development programmes,” Forde said.

As in the previous cycle, the CONCACAF Women’s Championship – slated for July 2022 – will serve as the qualification tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.

The top four teams from the CONCACAF Women’s Championship will qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with a further two teams competing in an inter-confederation play-off tournament.

Qualification matches for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship are scheduled for November 2021 and April 2022, with details to be announced in the coming months.

“We have a very talented and passionate domestic squad that is raring to get back on the pitch,” said Assistant Coach Akilah Castello, who will lead the training sessions in Guyana, under the guidance of Canada-based Head Coach Dr. Ivan Joseph.

“Because of the absence of competition during COVID, we are going to focus first on building fitness and conditioning,” Castello said.

“Our aim, over the coming months, will be to develop a larger domestic cohort of players that is ready and able to contribute to the final squad to represent Guyana on the international stage and to make our nation proud.”

In addition to the senior women’s national team’s activities this year, the U-20 women’s team will participate in Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship qualifiers in September, while the U-17s compete in the Concacaf U-17 Women’s Championship in August.

The GFF will also be sending the U-14 squad to the Caribbean Football Union Challenge Series and will host the U-15 squad in a camp to prepare for regional competition next year.

“The GFF is committed to investing heavily in women’s football as we look to make up for lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver on our strategic plan to develop football for all in Guyana,” Forde said. (GFF)

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