‘Happy to be back in the national set-up’

– Vurlon Mills

Talented striker Vurlon Mills has expressed his pleasure at returning to the national team for the first time in five months.

Vurlon Mills

Mills will be a member of the Golden Jaguars team for the upcoming   tour to Martinique and Guadeloupe from May 2 – 6.

The 24-year-old Mills has played nine international games for Guyana scoring five goals since making his debut in 2011 against Barbados in a friendly international.

Along with England-based right-winger Ricky Shakes, he was the Golden Jaguars leading goal-scorer during the second round qualifiers last year against Trinidad, Barbados and Bermuda scoring two goals in six matches.

However, as aforementioned, Mills has not donned the colours of the national team since the November 15, 2011 qualifier in Trinidad, even though he returned to competitive football within the last month.

Mills was sidelined with a cartilage knee-injury while playing for his Trinidad and Tobago Pro League (TTPL) club T&Tec, in a league fixture on December 6, 2011 against Neal and Massy Caledonia AIA.

Mills speaking to the media during the national team’s training session at the Alpha United training ground, Thomas Lands yesterday expressed his relief to be back playing football and said he was already looking forward to the upcoming challenges that the national team will face in the opening third round, World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the Estadio Azteca just 42 days away.

“I’m glad to be playing for the Golden Jaguars. It wasn’t easy getting back to this stage of full recovery at all. I did a lot of hard work during therapy with the club physiotherapist and doctors which sometimes had me doing work three times a day which was fairly intense. But I kept the discipline with the aim of getting back fit for my club and the national team and here I am now,” Mills recounted.

”Hopefully now that I am back, starting with these games against Martinique and Guadeloupe, my aim is to stay injury free since we have some big games coming up versus Jamaica and Mexico in a month period,” he added.

During the 2011/12 TTPL season, his club T&Tec, in their debut season,  led the points standing for the majority of the season before  finishing  second with 39 points behind eventual champions Winners Connection who claimed 40 points to win the championship.

Returning from injury during the back end of that season, Mills scored an impressive five goals in six games including a hat-trick. He spoke about his form and the general season with his club.

“I was fairly pleased with my form in the last month after returning from injury. I didn’t expect things to go so smoothly admittedly, but I guess it was good reward for the hard work I put in,” explained Mills.

The striker explained that inexperience amongst the entire team set-up at T&TEC at a crucial phase of the season was the determining factor with him not having a TTPL winner’s medallion currently.

“T&Tec had one of the better teams in the league this year for sure and for the majority of the season, even while I was absent the team certainly played like the best. But I guess given this was our first season, inexperienced in some crucial games at the end in which we lost, somewhat cost us. Next season though, hopefully, the lessons learnt this year will help us to possibly win the title,” reasoned Mills.

Mills concluded with his view on Guyana’s upcoming friendly versus Jamaica on May 18 in Kingston and the Mexico World Cup qualifier.

“This is an exciting period for the national team and I’m sure all the players wherever they are in the world right now are eagerly awaiting the start of these matches. For me personally, playing against Jamaica one of the best teams in the Caribbean historically will be great test of my ability.

I’m not sure how much of our overseas-based players we are going to have for that game, but as an experienced player I will be looking to lead from the front,” he said positively.

“The Mexico game against those level of player will easily be one of the biggest games our lives, but these matches friendly matches we have left will play a key part in us being in peak form mentally, physically and tactically come June 8.”

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