Assistant coach committed to leading Golden Jags

Passing the baton! Former Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars, Jamaal Shabazz (third from left) anoints his heir apparent Assistant Coach Wayne Dover, presenting him with his yellow jersey after announcing his resignation on Wednesday as co-founder of the K&S Organisation Kashif Mohamed (first, right) and other officials look on. (Photo by Orlando Charles)

-with GFF endorsement

By Emmerson Campbell

Golden Jaguars assistant coach Wayne Dover said he is committed to leading the national football team, with the blessings of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF).

Former Head Coach, Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz had on Wednesday anointed Dover his successor, after formally resigning from the post, citing commitments to his home country, conflicts within the GFF and government’s lack of vision for the sport in development plans.

Shabazz said that Dover was integral to the team’s development and success, even taking off his yellow jersey and presenting it to the assistant coach in a symbolic gesture of handing over the realms. “I think the time has come for Guyana to look inside and respect its own,” Shabazz said, adding that Dover was the most consistent coach Guyana had produced to date and it was time that the fraternity gave him due respect.  In an interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday, Dover maintained that he is committed to leading the team and lauded the efforts of his mentor Shabazz who is widely regarded as the most successful football coach in Guyana’s history. Shabazz has netted wins in four World Cup qualifying matches during his tour with the Golden Jaguars.

Passing the baton! Former Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars, Jamaal Shabazz (third from left) anoints his heir apparent Assistant Coach Wayne Dover, presenting him with his yellow jersey after announcing his resignation on Wednesday as co-founder of the K&S Organisation Kashif Mohamed (first, right) and other officials look on. (Photo by Orlando Charles)

“I know that Jamaal giving me the thumbs-up stemmed from not only the years we have worked together but he has seen the commitment and the dedication that I have for the team. But at the end of the day, it is up to the GFF to make that decision; they will have to give me that green light from the endorsement of Shabazz,” Dover said.

The assistant coach was at the helm of the team from 2009 to 2010 and noted that he had gained many successes during his stint in charge and he is confident that he can continue where Shabazz left off.  “Being honest about the situation before Jamaal came to Guyana, I was the coach of the national team but he came and implemented a lot of changes that turned around the football to some extent and when he left in 2008 and I took over we were on a good run as well. We played 13 games; we won seven, lost three and drew three so I hope some good day that the journalists and the GFF remember that period so that the nation would know that there is a coach in Guyana who can take the football forward as well as a Jamaal did,” Dover said.  He also noted that during the 2009-2010 period Guyana secured its highest rank – #86- by FIFA. Guyana is currently ranked 116.

When asked what he will remember most about Shabazz, Dover said: “The managerial part of the programme and the way he commanded the staff to work together that is what stands out. He got us to be on the same page and that is how we got results from the senior team, I looked at his philosophies and we embraced his guidance and we brought the level of the nation’s football to a place it never was before.

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