U-20s preparation new ‘SOP’ for national teams – GFF President

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By Akeem Greene

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The National Under-20 Men’s team currently competing in the Concacaf qualifying championship in the Dominican Republic had an extensive preparation period where all the players were fully encamped in Guyana, and before that, there were scouting exercises in the diaspora and in the hinterland regions.

In a recent exclusive interview with the News Room, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President, Wayne Forde, stated such practice will become the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when national teams are preparing for tournaments.

“We were unable to do a whole lot in 2020 and the GFF realised there was significant savings and much of that we converted into debt service and we also invested a lot of that and invested into the Under-17 and the Under-20 team.”

GFF President Wayne Forde

He underscored, “It is not a question as to whether we invest 10 million or 14 million dollars, the real question is, are we satisfied we would have been able to do everything possible that the coaching staff and the players are heading out with the confidence that they would have been prepared adequately for the tournament.”

Forde had disclosed the total sum for the preparation of the Men’s Under-20 squad will be in the vicinity of G$12 to $14 million.

They are currently in the Dominican Republic participating in the 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championship qualifying rounds.

A stark difference this year is that while in the past overseas-based players would join teams on arrival at the host venue or on transit, the entire squad was in Guyana and encamped together at a hotel.

“We have done the kind of work that I want to become Standard Operating Procedure for the GFF; we found the experiences we have with the international and local scouting in terms of the hinterland to work for us [and] these will become integral parts in our budget planning and going forward we will be organising international scouting events in all of the countries where there is a high concentration of young men and women in the diaspora that are playing football at a reasonable level.”

If successful at this current qualifier, Guyana will be able to challenge for a spot to compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 and the Paris Olympics 2024.

Recently, the Under-17 ladies qualified for the Concacaf Under-17 championship and no doubt, the Under-20 lads will want to follow suit.

After a draw and massive victory, their task is simple- defeat nemesis Nicaragua on Wednesday and they are through to the tournament next year.

Following the conclusion of the Qualifiers, 20 teams will participate in the 2022 U-20 Championship.

This will include the top four teams from the Qualifiers and the region’s 16 top-ranked Men’s U-20 teams who have received a bye to the Championship.

At the conclusion of the Championship, the finalists will qualify for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games.

The two losing semi-finalists will also guarantee their participation in the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023.

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