GFF hails ‘record-breaking stint’ of departing TD Ian Greenwood

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Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Technical Director Ian Greenwood will in March complete a successful five-year term in charge of the day-to-day national football programme in Guyana, rounding off a record-breaking stint driving the establishment of a sustainable and holistic foundation for future growth in the game.

Greenwood, a UEFA A license holder and former coach at Leeds United and Huddersfield Town, led the design, creation and implementation of a new national football philosophy, development programme, the GFF’s ground-breaking Academy Training Centres and talent pathway, with a focus on nurturing youth and coaches across Guyana through age-specific curricula.

During his tenure, the Guyana’s senior men’s team made its first appearance at the Concacaf Gold Cup, the U-15 male team won the nation’s first international youth tournament, the U-20 women’s team came within two games of reaching the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup, and the U-17 women’s team reached its first ever Concacaf Championship – a huge leap forward after conceding 40 goals in three qualifying games back in 2013.

In addition, the U-20 men’s team qualified for its first championship since 1984 and, this year, the U-17 and U-20 women’s teams will compete in consecutive Concacaf Women’s Championships for the first time.

Ian Greenwood: “Guyana has such huge potential in football and I believe we have now laid the foundations for that potential to be realised in the future.”

The total number of national team engagements increased 142% during Greenwood’s tenure, with a rise of 567% in female youth international matches and a jump of 344% for male youth teams.

Goal differences and win percentages have also improved across all national age groups, and talent from the hinterland has been integrated into all the national squads.

“Serving football in Guyana has been a huge privilege for me and I want to say thank you to the entire football community for its support in the last five years as I conclude my stint here,” Greenwood said.

“I am deeply proud of what we have achieved together since 2016, especially in terms of developing young talent and coaches across Guyana and strengthening the GFF’s technical capacity, and I will look back fondly on my time here as I take the next steps in my career.”

“Guyana has such huge potential in football and I believe we have now laid the foundations for that potential to be realised in the future,” he added.

“I would like to thank President Forde, the Executive Committee and the GFF administration for the opportunity to join the team and wish them all the very best for the future.”

An expert in youth and coach education, Greenwood also led the transformation of Guyana’s coaching structure. Having inherited a situation where no domestic-based coaches held valid certification, Greenwood leaves his post having helped 75 coaches attain Concacaf coaching qualifications from D to B licenses, the highest level offered by the regional body.

As part of rollout of the Academy Training Centre youth and grassroots development programme, he also created a national framework of employed, trained Technical Development Officers to increase the GFF’s impact and capabilities in its nine regional associations.

With the goals for Greenwood’s tenure complete, including transitioning the operational management of the Academy Training Centres to the regional associations and the establishment of the club charter system, GFF President Wayne Forde said the federation was thankful to the Englishman for his service.

“Ian’s appointment has proven to be a huge success for the GFF and football in Guyana, especially given that the scope of our initial ambitions and the lack of suitably qualified homegrown talent at the time required the recruitment of a specialist from overseas,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.

“Ian has been instrumental in capacity building and upskilling our talent pool to help us avoid that situation in the future,” Forde added.

“He has also been a very popular figure among our staff and community, who worked hard to assimilate into our culture and to become one of our own. His impressive legacy in developing our football strategy, staff, coaches and players will continue to have a positive impact on Guyanese football for many years to come, not least in the roll out of our nationwide network of Academy Training Centres and his achievements in turning around our coaching structure.”

The process to find Greenwood’s replacement has begun, with further details to be announced by the GFF in due course.

“We have been delighted with his professional work ethic and commitment to the cause, as well as the wide-ranging results on the ground that are there for everyone to see. Our youth development structure is now regarded by FIFA and Concacaf as a model of best practice for the Caribbean region,” Forde said.

“As an adopted son of the soil, we will miss Ian and wish him every blessing as he returns to the UK and moves on to the next stage of his evolving career in football.” (Guyana Football Federation Press Release)

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