Int’l Friendlies: Shabazz eager to maintain momentum against French Guiana


The Guyana Senior Men’s National Team has started preparations in Cayenne for two friendly matches against French Guiana on Saturday, April 16 and Monday, April 18, as part of an intensive warm-up regime ahead of the Concacaf Nations League in June.

The two fixtures with French Guiana, ranked 16th in the Concacaf region, will provide an appropriate test for the Golden Jaguars, with both sides set to compete in the second tier of the Concacaf Nations League this year.

Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz said he was eager to maintain momentum in the squad’s development following an impressive display in the Courts Caribbean Classic, which saw Guyana thump Barbados 5-0 before holding hosts Trinidad and Tobago to a thrilling 1-1 draw.

Golden Jaguars Head Coach, Jamaal Shabazz (News Room photo/September 17, 2021)

“It’s great to get two more matches and to keep the core of the squad active,” Shabazz said.

“I like the improvements we are seeing individually and collectively. The attitudes are improving and even the most stubborn egos are bringing themselves into line.”

The squad is drawn entirely from Guyana-based players, with the highly experienced Trinidad-born coach looking to provide a platform for homegrown talent to shine on the international stage.

“No doubt the overseas lads set a high standard in their effort, attitude and discipline in the recent matches in Trinidad,” he said.

“However, as we widen the pool, this game creates an opportunity for others, and plus we brought in a couple new faces.”

The 22-man squad features new faces in Guyana Defence Force winger Ian Dooker and the promising Police F.C. rising star Jemar Harrigan. Striker Osafo Simpson has earned a recall after being out of the team since FIFA World Cup qualifiers last year.

Defender Nicolai Andrews is back from injury, while U20 national midfielder Darron Niles returns after missing out on the friendly tournament in Trinidad. In the absence of the squad’s veteran keepers, Shabazz selected two young goalkeepers in Sese Norville and Ronaldo Blair.

“Thus far, I love how the senior guys in the squad like Trayon Bobb, Quincy Adams, Jeremy Garrett and Daniel Wilson have stepped up,” Shabazz said.

“I look forward to their leadership in these two matches.” Shabazz said.

He noted that no matter which team takes to the field, the importance and responsibilities remain the same for anyone wearing the national colours.

“The guys know that in the programme, players will be in and out of the team for different reasons,” he said.

“The main issue is to represent Guyana with pride and a huge sense of responsibility.”

Guyana has been drawn against Caribbean powerhouse Haiti, Bermuda and Montserrat in Group B of Concacaf Nations League B, with the winners of each group automatically qualifying for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and the top “A” tier of the Nations League.

The runners-up of each group will proceed to the preliminary qualification round of the Gold Cup. To reach Cayenne, the squad undertook a lengthy trip by coach via Suriname.

“It’s a long road trip, but I see smiling faces, I see lads ready to give everything to fight for places in the team,” Shabazz said.

“So, yes, it’s difficult to drive for a day or more, but it gives the opportunity for us to learn to rise above adversity and still battle.”

“If everyone could swim like me, I would have suggested we swim part of the journey,” joked Shabazz.

“This trip is for Jaguars and we are Golden Jaguars.”

The Guyana Senior Men’s National Squad for the French Guiana friendlies is as follows:


  1. Ronaldo Blair
  2. Sese Norville


  1. Jeremy Garrett
  2. Quincy Adams
  3. Marcus Wilson
  4. Leo Lovell
  5. Nicolai Andrews
  6. Shemar Fraser


  1. Daniel Wilson
  2. Clive Nobrega
  3. Job Caesar
  4. Javier George
  5. Darron Niles
  6. Jemar Harrigan
  7. Ryan Hackett


  1. Trayon Bobb
  2. Kelsey Benjamin
  3. Ian Dooker
  4. Jaminine Beckles
  5. Jamal Perriera
  6. Pernell Schultz
  7. Osafo Simpson


Jamaal Shabazz (Head Coach)

Rawle Adams (Team Manager)

Wayne Dover (Assistant Coach)

Charles Pollard (Assistant Coach)

Dylan Palmer (Fitness Coach)

Dexter George (Physiotherapist)

Trevor Burnett (Equipment Manager)

Keeron Tanner (Video/IT Technician)

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