Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz and Alpha United tactician Wayne Dover were officially confirmed Head Coach and Assistant Coach respectively of the senior male and u-23 programmes, inking two-year contracts yesterday at a ceremony held at the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) headquarters.
Shabazz, who was at the helm of the national setup on two previous occasions, created history when he oversaw the local unit’s record setting FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign in his previous stint.
The local side, under the stewardship of the Trinidadian, qualified for the CONCACAF semi-finals of World Cup qualifying for the first time in their history. Shabazz replaces Guyana Defence Force (GDF) tactician Denzil Thompson.
In his first match since returning to the helm, the Caledonia AIA chief saw his Golden Jaguars senior side draw 2-2 with Barbados on February 1 in the Land of the Flying Fish.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Chairman of the GFF Normalization Committee of the GFF Clinton Urling said the duo was appointed to longer term contracts after assessing their respective abilities during the recently contested Barbadian fixture.
He confirmed the duo will be with the federation for the duration of two years and will be in charge of both the senior and u-23 programmes as the federation plans ahead for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
Questioned what were the financial packages assigned to the two individuals and how will the federation be able to afford such a venture, Urling said while the federation cannot disclose the financial arrangements of any its employees, the entity has the sufficient finances to honour its contract with the duo.
He added that the federation has received a portion of a US$300,000 bonus from the world governing body and that will be used to help offset the financial packages of the appointed pair.
Urling further declared that the contractual details will be made public at the GFF Congress when the committee ends its tenure.
Asked if the new executive could terminate the services of the appointed pair upon their ascension to office, Urling said while that is a possibility, the contracts inked between the committee and the individuals are legally binding instruments and as such, will have requirements and stipulations for their respective terminations.
He noted, however, that if the newly elected executive should choose take that route, he hoped the respective terminations should be based on the performances of the individuals and not simply because they can.
Appointed head-coach Shabazz during a brief address said while there was a lot to take into consideration for coming to Guyana for a two year period, he said “it’s an exciting moment to take up a new challenge.”
He noted while he is happy about the objectives achieved in his previous stints with the local setup, the institution and individuals involved can no longer live in the past of what was previously attained during those periods.
According to the Trinidad and Tobago native, the aim and objective is to push the national programme to uncharted heights. Shabazz said that he is happy for the opportunity and eager to work for the development of the nation’s football.
Quizzed when the team will begin preparation for the home fixture against St Lucia on March 22nd, Shabazz said the management team will begin to shortlist the players starting from the middle of next week.
Assistant coach Dover during an invited comment thanked the Normalization Committee for the opportunity to be a part of the technical team while noting this is a new era and that he is looking forward to the journey they will be embarking on.
He further said the objective is to carry the sport to where it once was and even farther and that the appointed duo must work with all the stakeholders inclusive of the GFF Technical Director Claude Bolton to advance the discipline locally.