Part of the Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United Football Club departs today for Costa Rica where they are scheduled to play Club Sport Herediano in the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament on July 26. Another set of players will leave for Costa Rica on Sunday and according to president of the country’s number one club Odinga Lumumba, who spoke at a press conference at the Water Chris Hotel, his team is “entering the jaws of the lion” since Herediano is one of Central America’s top club teams. The team plays in the Primera División and is one of the oldest in the country; it was founded on June 12, 1921.
CS Herediano is considered the Costa Rican club team with the most international experience.
However, Lumumba hopes that his team can at least draw their first match to ensure that they have some advantage when they play the return match on August 4 at the Guyana National Stadium.
The matches will be televised live by ESPN, something Lumumba described as historical. He said that the team is a strong one which will be headed by new captain Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams, who took over from national captain Howard Lowe.
Alpha is the only English-speaking Caribbean club left in the tournament. Tempete of Haiti is the other Caribbean Football Union (CFU) member country in the competition.
“This is a new level for us. These are world class professional teams so we are hoping to do our best and we can’t predict at this time. We are in the jaws of the lion and are hoping at least for a draw so that we can have an advantage when we get home.
The team is well prepared; the team is strong and we are going to play to our capacity,” Lumumba said. He also stated that this competition will show not only Alpha’s capacity to compete with world class clubs but also Guyana’s capacity to develop football in the truest sense.
“It will be a lot about our capacity to develop football in Guyana. This is not about Alpha this is about Guyana,” explained Lumumba.
On the other hand, coach Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover said that preparation went well and the side worked on all the aspects that they lacked in the CFU Club Championship. He emphasized, however, that dealing with some of the flaws is a work in progress.
He said that the side will try their best to represent the country especially since team has been strengthened despite the loss of players like Lowe and Devon Millington, who are currently on national duties.
Alpha United: Anthony Abrams, (Captain), Ronson Williams, Chavane Forte, Kris Comacho, Travis Grant, Dwain Jacobs, Dwight Peters, Kelvin Mc Kenzie, Clive Andries, Adrian Mitchell, Philbert Moffatt, Duckworth Kirk, Andrew Murray, Warren Gilkes, Jevon Francis, Tiran, Hanley, Cornelius Henry, Selwyn Isaacs, Richard Reynolds, Richie Richards Wayne Dover (Coach), Gavin Browne (Assistant Coach), Feona Harris (Secretary) and Linley Langhorne (Physiotherapist).
Herediano: L. Moreira (Goalkeeper), D. Cambronero (Goalkeeper), R. Fernández (Goalkeeper), M. Rodriguez (Defender), C. Montero (Defender), E. Sánchez (Defender), M. Obando (Defender), Alexander Castro (Defender), P. Salazar (Defender), C. Castro (Defender), J. Cordero (Midfielder), J. Garro (Midfielder), Y. Arias (Midfielder), M. Ángulo (Midfielder), M. Centeno (Midfielder), J. Cubero (Midfielder), Andrés Castro (Midfielder), C. Hernandez (Midfielder), J. Alvarado (Midfielder), J. Cancela (Midfielder), O. Vargas (Attacker), Jorge Barbosa (Attacker), V. Núñez (Attacker), E. Ramírez (Attacker) and Anderson Andrade (Attacker).