The Guyana Sports Development Foundation (GSDF) Scotiabank/Pepsi Schools Football Academy is being hailed as the centre of the development of female footballers, with its members winning several tournaments and even qualifying for the CONCACAF World Cup. Lawrence Griffith, coordinator of the Academy, said many of its junior players represented Guyana at the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) U17 female World Cup Qualifiers two years ago.
“That team had 10 or nine girls in the squad, eventually seven made the final team where the team won the group in Guyana and proceeded to the next round in Jamaica where we lost,” he said.
Griffith also told Stabroek Sport that the Scotiabank/Pepsi Schools Football Academy ‘Female All Star’ team won the GSDF U21 X-Mas tournament last year when they played against Berbice and West Demerara teams. The team was selected after the school tournament. The ladies U17 tournament will also be held this year, he said, noting that players will be selected from the Academy to participate in that tournament as well.
According to Griffith, some of the best female footballers come from the Rupununi. A tournament is held every year during Amerindian Heritage Month, but it is costly as many of the players are not located in the Centr
al Rupununi. Also, the Rupununi Football Association is not properly constituted and an executive has not been put in place. “…They are a still committee,” he said.
Despite these challenges, and the players inexperience due to the small number of competitions held locally, Griffith believes that Guyana can field a full local women’s team for international games.