Golden Jaguars taking aim at Gold Cup
looking to take positives from World Cup Qualifiers into CFU competition
- Skipper Chris Nurse
From Emmerson Campbell
in St Lucia
The Golden Jaguars have brushed off their disappointing third round 2014 Football World Cup Qualifiers exit and will look to roar to victory when they tackle Group Two foe St. Vincent today in their opening game of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Cup at the Beausejour Stadium here in St Lucia.
This was the synopsis of Captain Chris Nurse and Coach Jamaal Shabazz when Stabroek Sport caught up with the duo after the team held its final practice session yesterday.
Nurse said that the Jaguars are prepared and ready to maul their opposition.
“We had a good preparation. The team was very disciplined and we are looking strong,” said Nurse yesterday.
“They were a lot of positives from the games that we played in the World Cup Qualifiers and now is the time we will see the character of the team to bounce back and take the positives that we learnt from those games into this competition.
“We have the experience and we will bring it to this competition and try to be dominant. This is a test of character. Yes! We lost a few games but this is a chance for us to stick our chest out and prove that we are a dominant force in the Caribbean.”
Shabazz, meanwhile, mentioned that the team has moved on from the disappointing showing in the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers and will aim to qualify for the Gold Cup with a predominantly local-based team.
“We are out of the World Cup but it was a great learning experience for us. We learnt a lot and we now focus our attention to the Caribbean Cup tournament.”
He added:”St. Vincent has a good rivalry with us over the years but we have more locally-based players and we are also happy to have Nurse and (Gregory) Richardson available for the games. We are going with confidence as well as caution but with big ambitions to come out on top with this group.”
The national coach also reiterated that his charges will be taking the positives out of the World Cup Qualifiers which was getting behind the defenses of the powerhouses of CONCACAF.
“We are not taking the disappointments of the World Cup Qualifiers with us but the positives out of it which is we were able to get behind the defence of the top teams in CONCACAF which are Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica. We had scoring opportunities against those teams and that was something positive for us and that is what we are taking in this Caribbean Cup tournament.”
When asked what were the Jaguars keys to victory, Shabazz replied:”Try to play how we play, defend hard, organise and when we get the ball use our pace and attack.
“I think the guys are eager; they all want to go to the Gold Cup and we know that this first game against St Vincent is the first step in this direction.”
Guyana’s squad reads, Nurse, Clive Nobrega, Kelvin Smith, Colin Nelson, Walter Moore, Julien Edwards, Charles Pollard, Derick Carter, Ronson Williams, Konata Mannings, Dwight Peters, Trayon Bobb, Kester Jacobs, Daniel Wilson, Andrew Murray, Anthony Benfield, Gregory Richardson, Anthony Abrams, and Sheldon Holder. Technical Staff: Jamaal Shabazz (Head Coach), Wayne Dover (Coach), Kerry Dollaway (Team Doctor), Americo Falopa (Trainer), Mark Xavier (Manager).