Newly elected president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Christopher Matthias and his executives will have the full backing of the national men’s football team as long as strategic plans are in place to take the sport forward.
So said Golden Jaguars captain, Chris Nurse, during yesterday’s telephone interview with this publication.
“We need a collective effort of everyone in order to achieve the ultimate goal which of course is elevating Guyana’s level of football,” Nurse noted.
“This new executive will have the full support of the players and we look forward optimistically to a bright progression in Guyana’s football at all levels for both men and women,” Nurse added. Widely regarded as Guyana’s most successful football captain with wins in four World Cup qualifying matches, Nurse stated:”As long as the GFF engages with everybody with the best interest of the sport and develop strategic plans to take the sport forward we the players will support them.”
The national captain and Edmonton FC midfielder said that this was the best possible period for the GFF to restart the national programme as players are more enthused. “We now have a fantastic opportunity to develop the structures and protocols for success, and there is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm amongst the players,” he said. “I urge the federation to restart the national team’s programme which has become stagnant since elimination from World Cup Qualifiers as soon as possible,” he added.
Nurse noted that Guyana needs to take advantage of the FIFA dates since its ranking continues to slide as a result of inactivity.
“Since we have not been playing games, Guyana has been dropping in the FIFA World rankings. Playing on FIFA dates has been a consistent factor in the elevation of the national team in previous years; we simply cannot afford to wait for big tournaments to arrive to begin preparations, the time is now.”
The English born Nurse also gave some advice to the new executive. ”Primarily I feel the federation will need to engage and restore the trust and support of the communities and the businesses. “Of course also high on the agenda must be facilities and continuing the development and qualifications of local coaches, who in turn can develop our youngsters.”
Nurse, who had openly endorsed Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major for the top post at Friday’s congress, praised Matthias on his humility and said that regardless of who won the election, change was needed and change was achieved.
“I have already congratulated Mr. Matthias, Mr. Collie Hercules and the new executive committee of GFF on their success, what stood out immediately was the humility of both individuals, and I think this will stand the federation in good stead proceeding forward.
”Regardless of who won the elections, the main objective to be achieved was change, and this has most certainly been achieved.”
Matthias was elected to the GFF’s top post after he defeated Major by a five-vote margin (11-six).