Men’s hockey squad seeks Pan American ranking

Four players who were on Guyana’s bronze medal winning team the last time a Caribbean men’s hockey tournament was staged back in 1989 have been named on an 18-man squad to compete in the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) Caribbean championship billed for next month in Trinidad and Tobago.

Veteran defence player, Damon Woodroffe, experienced midfielder Alan Fernandes, lethal striker Philip Fernandes and utility player Ivor Thompson, have been named on the squad announced by the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) yesterday.

The four were part of Guyana’s bronze medal team when this country hosted the Caribbean Men’s tournament which included Mexico, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.

The PAHF Caribbean tournament for national men and women’s teams in the English-speaking Caribbean will take place from November 7-11 in Port-of-Spain and will also feature Barbados, Jamaica and hosts Trinidad and Tobago.

Philip Fernandes, president of the GHB, said the squad is a blend of youth and experience and he expects the players to perform well against the giants of the English-speaking Caribbean – Barbados, Jamaica and hosts Trinidad and Tobago.

According to Fernandes, the team holds as its primary objective, the need to regain a ranking on the list of Pan American countries which would enable Guyana to compete once again in the major regional tournaments like the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Pan American Games.

“In May of this year, the national men’s team took part in the second Alba Games held in Caracas Venezuela where they earned silver medals losing only to gold medallists Cuba in the entire tournament. Despite losing the services of national left back Marvin Dannet who is currently studying in England on a hockey scholarship, the new squad is expected to be stronger with the inclusion of several senior players who were unavailable in May,” Fernandes disclosed.

Three players will be making their senior national debut: former national under-21 defender Dwayne Scott, striker Robert France and goalkeeper Anthony Cole while Robert Fernandes and Gregory Garraway will be wearing the national colours at outdoor competition for the first time having represented the country at the indoor level.

“The tournament is not expected to be an easy one for the unranked local men with the pre-tournament favourites being Trinidad who enjoy the status of being the 4th ranked team in the Pan Am region 23rd in the world. Barbados enjoys a world ranking of 63 while both Jamaica and Guyana remain unranked for lack of participation in international tournaments over the recent years. Guyana and Jamaica played to a 2-2 draw during the Alba Games in Caracas and their match up is expected to be a keen contest once again,” Fernandes revealed.

The coach is former German first division player and former National under-21 defender Timothy Mc Intosh who is also named as a player.

Gregory Sills has been appointed manager while a captain will be announced shortly.

The 18 players are: Aderemi Simon, Damon Woodroffe, Dwayne Scott, Timothy McIntosh, Shane Samuels, Devin Munroe, Alan Fernandes, Devin Hooper, Philip Fernandes ,Kevin Spencer, Alex Gouveia, Jarazeno Bell, Marc King, Gregory Garroway, Anthony Cole, Robert Fernandes, Robert France and Ivor Thompson.

The GHB last week named 16 players and two standbys for the women’s tournament.

Training sessions will continue four times a week for both squads at the GCC ground – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 17:30pm and from 08:00 hours on Sundays.

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