Shabazz names 24-man squad for Montserrat clash; no space for Kellman
Golden Jaguars Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz has named his 24-man squad for their first match of League B in the Concacaf Nationals League against Montserrat in the Dominican Republic on June 4 from 19:30h.
After an 11-day encampment in Trinidad and Tobago, Shabazz trimmed the training squad prior to Wednesday’s departure for Santo Domingo where the Golden Jaguars would hope to start on a positive note against the Emerald Boyz.
Shabazz, in his first major assignment since his fourth installment as Golden Jaguars’ Head Coach, has given maiden call-ups to towering center-back Jalen Jones, who plays for Braintree Town FC in England, and center-forward Tré Mitford of Brackley Town Football Club.
Outside of friendlies, it will be the first major assignment for seasoned campaigners, Neil Danns and Sam Cox, who were recalled by Shabazz on his return.
The squad features several young players, who have been constant faces in the numerous friendly matches in the lead up to the Nations League or had previous stints with the Jaguars.
However, promising midfielder, Curtez Kellman, who was named in the preliminary squad, but was not encamped in Trinidad, was not selected.
Shabazz had explained to News Room Sport that they opted to allow Kellman to continue playing for his Kansas City II club in the MLS Next Pro league, given “solid midfield options available.”
He did say when they return to Guyana for matches against Bermuda (June 7) and Haiti (June 11) at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, he will add some players to the squad.
Though Montserrat has a population of under 5,000, its squad is expected to comprise players predominantly based in the United Kingdom.
Just like Guyana, they would have lost 6-1 to Trinidad and Tobago in their Gold Cup preliminaries last year, but prior to that, they had an unbeaten run in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Guyana is currently placed 174th by FIFA and 21st in Concacaf, and it is only Montserrat at 178th and 28th behind the South American nation in terms of opponents they have to face in the coming days.
The ultimate aim of the Golden Jaguars is to qualify for another Gold Cup finals, and a direct spot will come if they top their group.
Further, there is another chance if they finish second place in the group and then contest the Gold Cup preliminaries.
But based on rankings it means Golden Jaguars will have to slay higher-ranked opponents if they are to replicate the journey to a maiden Gold Cup spot in 2019.
Golden Jaguars squad for Monsterrat clash
Goalkeepers: Alex Murray, Quillan Roberts, Akel Clarke
Defenders: Marcus Wilson, Quincy Adams, Jalen Jones, Jeremy Garrett, Matthew Briggs, Leo Lovell, Sam Cox
Midfielders: Daniel Wilson, Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Clive Nobrega, Job Caesar, Neil Danns, Ryan Hackett
Forwards: Trayon Bobb, Kelsey Benjamin, Terell Ondaan, Pernell Schultz, Anthony Jeffrey, Omari Glasgow, Tré Mitford, Stephen Duke McKenna