National Under-17 Coach Garvin `Tibbsy’ Nedd said he is pleased with the performances of the team during the ongoing camp and expects better results this year in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional U17 tournament which bowls off from July 6-16 in, Trinidad and Tobago.
Stabroek Sports caught up with the former national off-spinner yesterday whilst he was conducting the first of his three-day of outdoor sessions which commenced at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, ahead of the team’s departure for the 50 over tournament.
“Basically we were together since last Wednesday and we started our first session on Thursday morning with some fitness assessments and so forth,” said Nedd.
“So far I must say the guys have been showing keenness in their fitness levels. We did some work in the indoor facility with some batting and bowling because we know that’s this time of the year it’s tough for us weather wise but I must say they are responding well to the drills”, he added.
According to the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) Head Coach, the players did some work in the indoor facility located at LBI.
Nedd said that he wanted to thank the entities responsible for affording them Providence as a venue for some much needed outdoor training.
“I must compliment the Ministry of Sport and the manager of the National Stadium for giving us the opportunity to use the venue for three days, Monday (yesterday), Tuesday (today) and Wednesday (tomorrow), so we can do some fielding which is a key part of our game because last year we fell down because we didn’t field as well coming down to the crunch time,” he explained.
Nedd has inherited a team which he has been working with since the U15 days and he said yesterday that he was grateful that his relationship with the players as well as the comradery will play a huge role in the competition.
“The U17 players from the team were together since early in the year and they did participate in the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) U19 competition and from that I’m more than sure we are able to stand on our feet this year in because the years gone by we had a struggle because of preparation but this time around looks different,” Nedd reasoned.
“What happened from the tournament is basically that they gained some self-belief and as I mentioned they reached the final so they now have a belief that they can do well so I think the U19 tournament served a purpose for us, uniting us a team together and based on that confidence level we are looking to execute,” he added.
The U17 side will enter the competition with a strong core of players, some of whom have the Regional youth experiences needed to help their fellow teammates should pressure invade and the former Demerara spinner is optimistic that some of his key players will shoulder that pressure if needed.
“Well to be honest the Captain Ronaldo AliMohamed has been around for quite some time and has done well for Guyana U17 last year and he was part of the victorious Guyana U19 team. Young Adrian Sukwah batted excellently for us last year too so I’m looking forward for him leading from the front as well as at the top of the innings.
“We also have young Joshua Persaud who came up from the U15 team and showed that talent, not forgetting young Kevin Sinclair and Ashmead Nedd who played integral roles in Guyana’s victory as all-rounders in the spin department, so we will be looking for them to play major roles again in the spin department along with Richie Looknauth, but having the players gel together as a team that will be good for us,” said Nedd.
Speaking about areas of concern, Need pointed out that the team needs to work extra hard on their fielding as it played a pivotal part in them not being able to perform to their best last season.
“Judging from the last tournament the fielding let us down and it’s a key part in any One Day cricket team, because if you allow 20 or 30 runs to go you have to make that back and that will always be difficult so the fielding department is a key part of the team and once we are able to work on it and execute as a team we will be successful”.
Despite an MVP performance from all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford and Vice-skipper Sukwah finishing as leading run-scorer last year, Guyana finished fourth in the competition but Nedd expects a better showing and more high-intense cricket from his young batch of players.
“I would like to compliment the board and the technical director Colin Stuart for making it possible for us to play in the U19 tournament and our guys did well to reach the finals so that’s a plus for us and from what I’ve been seeing the energy level is quite good once we stick together and have the same energy we can be successful for Guyana this year”.
Meanwhile, Sukwah who will have triple the responsibility as a top order batsman, wicket-keeper and Vice-captain commended his teammates for showing positive intent ahead of the tourney.
“So far the guys are cooperating as a team, catching backing up, helping and supporting each other in the practice sessions so for a team that’s very good for us because once we play as a unit we will do good things.
“We were lapsing on the fielding a little bit but it’s coming around very nicely now for us. Personally I just want to support my team with the bat and try to make runs for them and actually myself too and just to support them. As keeper you’re a key man behind the stumps and you have to support everyone in the field as well,” Sukwah said.
The team will continue their training today and will break camp tomorrow and relax for two days before winging out for Trinidad on Saturday.