‘We achieved our objectives’- Golden Jaguars Head Coach reflects on T&T Int’l Friendlies

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Guyana Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz believes that the home-based players selected for the recently concluded International Friendlies against Trinidad and Tobago have gained invaluable insights to shape their future in the sport.

The Golden Jaguars suffered a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad and Tobago on May 13, followed by a 2-0 loss in their final match on May 15 at the Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Reflecting on the games, Shabazz shared that “it is clear that player for player we were able to match our opponents. Some boys gave a good account of themselves and some were a bit nervous. Most importantly, the lads would have learnt a few lessons for their future, like the margin for error at international level is small and the need for more composure in front of goal.”

Guyana’s Darron Niles (green) battles for possession on May 15 against Trinidad and Tobago at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain (Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association)

The two fixtures served as assessments for players who competed in recently concluded Round One of the KFC Elite League Season Six, providing them with an international platform to showcase their abilities, and vie for spots in the final squad for the forthcoming Concacaf Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

The 24-player squad included three goalkeepers, six defenders, eleven midfielders, and four forwards selected from the Guyana Defence Force FC, Slingerz FC, Guyana Police Force FC and Santos FC, alongside fresh talents with Guyanese heritage from Canada, France and the United States.

The Golden Jaguars Head Coach stressed that “we did not win, but a lot of questions were answered as to who is ready to move into our full international squad. We achieved our other objectives. We got higher level match practice for the likes of Daniel Wilson, Kelsey Benjamin, Curtez Kellman, Colin Nelson and Ryan Hackett, all of whom travel with our first team. We gave valuable exposure to players like Marcus Tudor, Simeon Moore, Chris Macey and Stephen McDonald, just to name a few.”

Part of the action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain (Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association)

Shabazz added: “I must thank the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Football Federation for enabling this exposure for the home-based players. At least twice a year we should get these types of matches for home-based players to develop.”

Shabazz has redirected his attention to gearing up for the onset of the World Cup Qualifiers, integrating the international players into the squad.

The Golden Jaguars are set to clash with Panama in Panama City on June 6, followed by a match against Belize on June 11 in Barbados. (GFF)

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