Coach Dover impressed with U20 talent pool
The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) completed two successful U20 men’s talent identification sessions at the GFF National Training Centre recently ahead of forthcoming Concacaf U20 qualifiers, with more than 90 players from eight regional associations competing for places in the provisional squad.
In November, under the guidance of Head Coach and former Golden Jaguars boss Wayne Dover, the U20 men’s national team will seek to qualify for the 2020 Concacaf U20 Championship – the first step on the road to the FIFA U20 World Cup 2023. “
I’ve been impressed by the enthusiasm from the players – the commitment and work ethic that is important in terms of preparing a team for these championships,” Coach Dover said in a GFF Press release.
“There is a lot more work to be done to bring them to the level we need them to be to compete and possibly come out of their group.”
On Saturday and Sunday, players proposed by their respective associations from Georgetown, East Coast Demerara, West Coast Demerara, East Bank Demerara, Upper Demerara, Bartica, Berbice, and Essequibo/Pomeroon took part in assessment sessions supervised by the GFF’s Technical Department.
The U20 talent pool includes many players who have benefitted from the GFF’s groundbreaking network of youth development Academy Training Centres, which provides professional coaching in the GFF’s national playing philosophy, as well as its U15 and U17 leagues, sponsored by Pele Alumni and NAMILCO respectively.
However, no competitive youth football has taken place in Guyana since the declaration by the World Health Organization of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The GFF is waiting for the authorities to approve its robust and credible roadmap for the safe return of play, which was designed with the support of football development and health experts at UEFA and FIFA.
“After this ID campaign, we will select a possible pool of players to start preparations,” Dover said.
“We will also extend this talent ID to the diaspora to see how best we could select talented players who are available so that we could put the best team together for this championship.”
Dover indicted the Rupununi Football Association would conduct separate talent ID sessions in Region 9, while the GFF would engage football communities in other hinterland areas in September to search for new talent that does not fall within its current regional association structure.
“We have a plan to ensure that we cover all the players that are available at this age level for the national U20 team selection,” he explained.
In February 2020, Guyana narrowly missed out on the subsequently-canceled 2020 Concacaf U20 Championship, winning three out of four matches in a difficult qualification stage that included hosts and eventual group winners Nicaragua.
“My expectation is for us to prepare the team in a way that we can go out and be very competitive and try to win the group and come out to the next phase. My expectation is for us to do much better in these championships”, the former Senior Football coach contended.