Lady Jags encamped for high-stakes clash against Dominican Republic
Guyana’s Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach Omar Khan is confident in his selection of a spirited and youthful 23-member squad for the February 17 must-win Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup Preliminary clash against the Dominican Republic in the United States.
The high-stakes elimination showdown will take place at the Dignity Health Sports Park Track and Field Stadium in Los Angeles.
A victory would propel the Lady Jags to the group stage of the inaugural Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup.
“We have a young team. It’s a great team to work with, a lot of enthusiastic ladies who give everything,” Khan shared in an interview.
Adjustments have been made to the lineup that achieved a commanding 5-0 victory against Dominica in the Concacaf Women’s Road To Gold Cup last November.
Khan has introduced a new player, midfielder Hope Windebank, and brought back four players as part of his strategy for the upcoming elimination match.
The returning players are defenders Sydney Cummings and Heike Clarke, along with forwards Jenea Knight and Lakeisha Pearson.
Goalkeepers: Chante’ Sandiford, Raven Edwards- Dowdall and Aneesa O’Brien
Defenders: Anya Tribune, Anika Sproxton, Kristen Bettencourt, Rylee Traicoff, Sydney Cummings and Heike Clarke
Midfielders: Stefanie Kouzas, Brianne Desa, Jalade Trim, Hope Windebank, Hannah Baptiste, Sandra Johnson and Samantha Banfield.
Forwards: Otesha Charles, Shanice Alfred, Annalisa Vincent, Jenea Knight, Lakeisha Pearson, Neema Liverpool and Dylana Makarowski.
The Head Coach explained that the Lady Jags have maintained their fitness over the past few weeks through a virtual fitness plan in preparation for the five-day encampment set to start on Monday, February 11 in Los Angeles.
In the upcoming week, training will focus on refining and honing every aspect of their game from “attacking, defending, transitions, set pieces, strength (and) conditioning,” according to the head coach.
“The main thing is to get a good team on the pitch. Good team building. I think the biggest aim for success will be getting a team that’s prepared; know what they have to do in every part of the game, when we have the ball, when we don’t have the ball. Those are the key elements.”
But it won’t be a straightforward task against the Dominican Republic, a team known for their robust defence. The upcoming match will be a formidable challenge, as the opponents are equally resolute in their determination to progress to the next round.
The Group Stage will feature twelves (12) national teams between February 20-28 across several venues – Dignity Health Sports Park, Snapdragon Stadium, and Shell Energy Stadium – all located in the United States.
After the round-robin phase, group winners, runners-up, and the two most successful third-place finishers will secure spots in the quarterfinals.
Subsequently, the semifinals and the final are set to take place at the Snapdragon Stadium on March 6 and 10, respectively. Khan added that advancing to the group stage would be a “real boost to this team to keep going” and an excellent promotion for women’s football in Guyana.
GFF President Wayne Forde said the chosen squad possesses the skills to overcome the Dominican Republic and urged all Guyanese, both domestically and internationally, to unite in support of the team. (GFF)