Concacaf, UEFA laud GFF for exposing U-16 Boys in Europe


The Under-16 Boys’ national team historic participation in a European tournament in Bosnia and Herzegovina this month will accelerate their development as players and young men, according to Concacaf and UEFA, praising the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) for crafting opportunities for young players to expand their horizons and reach their potential.

Enabled by UEFA Assist and with the full support of Concacaf, a 20-player strong Junior Jaguars squad will play Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Montenegro in Guyana’s first appearance at a UEFA-sanctioned tournament in Europe.

“We are delighted to support the development of the Guyana Football Federation’s U-16 national team,” said UEFA Head of International Relations Eva Pasquier.

“The opportunity to play in a European tournament, learn from and exchange with UEFA national associations, and experience new cultures will undoubtedly help these young stars to develop both on and off the pitch. And this is exactly what UEFA Assist is all about.”

Guyana, led by Head Coach Vurlon Mills, will play Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 19, Lithuania on April 21, and Montenegro on April 24.

The unprecedented invitation to play in the four-team friendly tournament is the direct result of the GFF’s focus on building meaningful relationships with UEFA and its other international football partners as it strengthens the image and standing of Guyana in the football world.

The players and management team with officials of the GFF

The GFF and UEFA have worked together on “return to play” planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, while UEFA funded two minibuses to reduce the cost of participation for players in GFF development programmes and competitions.

With the backing of Concacaf, UEFA is also supporting the creation of Guyana’s first professional football league. “Concacaf wishes to express its full support on this initiative and wishes the team all the best,” said Howard McIntosh, Head of One Concacaf and Caribbean Special Projects.

“The GFF administration, led by Wayne Forde, has proven time and time again that it will take on numerous football challenges, and it’s good to see this remarkable opportunity coming to fruition.”

“This approach is consistent with the philosophy expressed by Concacaf President Victor Montagliani in putting football first,” McIntosh said. “We hope that the boys have a safe and successful trip and take full advantage of every opportunity that they have to represent Guyana and Concacaf in this tournament.”

As part of their ambassadorial role in representing Guyana on their European trip, the U-16 players will share Guyana tourism and investment brochures with other tournament participants and officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Guyana Tourism Authority has also contributed financial support to the squad.

“We are very keen for the boys to make a positive impression on their European audience, and not just in the way they conduct themselves on the field of play,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.

“The squad has been preparing to represent their nation in the role of young ambassadors, including reading up on their history as well as taking it upon themselves to showcase Guyana’s beauty and spirit of adventure as a tourism destination and its attractiveness as an investment opportunity.”

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