Golden Jaguars off to Antigua for camp ahead of WCQ
The Guyana Senior Men’s National Team departed from Ogle airport on Saturday to commence a training encampment in Antigua and Barbuda, ahead of its final two matches in round one of the Concacaf 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) was rushed into making last minute plans to use Antigua and Barbuda as its training base after the St. Kitts and Nevis authorities informed that the team will not be permitted to arrive in that country until June 2 for the June 4 game on the advice of their National COVID-19 Task Force.
The Golden Jaguars, who were scheduled to travel on May 29 to St. Kitts and Nevis, will now arrive there on June 2.
GFF President Wayne Forde said: “We are extremely grateful to the authorities and our football colleagues in Antigua and Barbuda for facilitating this encampment, so that the Golden Jaguars can prepare properly as a unit before these vital fixtures.”
“We wish the players and staff all the best in training over the coming days, and for the challenge that lies ahead. These two matches – and results elsewhere – will decide our FIFA World Cup fate. We are still in the running, and we know that the support of the whole nation will make a huge difference for the players. Let’s roar with the Jags in June,” he said.
Currently in third place in Group F, Guyana plays St. Kitts and Nevis on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 8, with both fixtures taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis due to logistical challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only the top team from each group will qualify for the second round of the Concacaf qualifiers.
Head Coach Marcio Maximo has made six changes to the squad that lost 3-0 to Trinidad and Tobago and beat the Bahamas by four goals to nil in March as he seeks to inject new energy, increase competition for places as well as build for the future.
“We’ve selected players that we see are in fully professional environments overseas because we want players that will really add something to the domestic group, as well as mostly young players that are at a high level,” Maximo said.
“That is why we made some changes to the non-domestic group, and also in the domestic group, because competition should be there continuously to grow a strong group and to guarantee the present and the future of Guyana’s football.” (GFF)