Guyana-born Alex Bunbury said while the establishment of the Alex Bunbury Sports and Academics Academy (ABSAA) is his main focus, he would not rule out the possibility of serving as the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Technical Director on a temporary basis.
The GFF presently has a vacancy for the GFF Technical Director position following the resignation of Claude Bolton on March 1.
In an invited comment with Stabroek Sports, Bunbury said:”There is a saying `never say never’, but this time and period, I believe that I have the qualifications but the project is the number one priority.
“If there’s an emergency and they need someone to do it temporarily, then I can do it until someone is found. Mr. [Wayne] Forde has not asked me anything yet and I have not inquired,” he said in an exclusive interview with this newspaper.
Asked about the status of the Alex Bunbury Sports and Academic Academy, he said, “I’m here to show first and foremost we are serious. It’s not one of those situations where we say something, leave and don’t come back, it’s a process that takes time. We need support from the government, we need the bridge to make it happen.
“The interest we have with the government looks promising. I want us to stay on the same page, there’s a lot of work to be done and they (government) responded positively. I will be working with Ms. Nicolette Henry to go over details, it’s a tight schedule because of the 50thanniversary.
“The academy is there for more than football. It’s to create jobs. I have a passion for soccer, I want to see us grow in a way that makes a huge difference,” he declared.
Questioned what it means for the sport locally to have a country of Canada’s magnitude play on local soil, Bunbury, who was instrumental in securing a match against Canada’s U23 and the Golden Jaguars on May 15th said: “It’s a historic event, one we have to see for what it is.”
Of the upcoming match, Bunbury said that it will showcase the talent we have and highlight the magnitude of the impending anniversary.
“It’s important for both countries, it showcases the direction Canada is going and the talent we have here,” he concluded.
Bunbury arrived on local shores on Monday to launch the Morrell Bunbury Grassroots Development Programme (MBGDP) in his home village of Plaisance. The project, which is named after his late father, will focus on youth development and will be funded privately by the former Canadian International.
This initiative will cater to several objectives inclusive of establishing a new franchise/club within the area for participation in the Stag Beer Elite League as well as providing academic opportunities for players to acquire scholarships.
Bunbury is also to meet high profile individuals from the Guyana Football Federation and the government to continue the discussion for the establishment of the ABSAA project.
A Canadian Hall of Famer, Bunbury started his professional career with the Hamilton Steelers. He would also go on to have spells with Toronto Blizzard and Montreal Supra in the Canadian Soccer League.
Following a brief stint for West Ham United, Bunbury moved to Portugal and downed the colours of C.S. Marítimo. This proved to be a successful move for Bunbury as he went on to become the club’s all times leading scorer with 59 conversions, making over 165 appearances in the process
In his second season with the club, he was awarded the Foreign Player of the Year award. In his final year in Portugal, Bunbury recorded a career best 15 goals to help his team finish in the 10th position in the 1998-1999 season.
Upon the conclusion of his campaign in Portugal, Bunbury moved to Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer where he spent two seasons before hanging up his cleats.
Subsequently, he moved into the coaching realm, with his first job being at the helm of Bangu FC following by the Minnesota Thunder Academy.
Internationally, Bunbury represented his adopted nation at the u-20 and senior level, securing nine caps at the junior level while netting three times. On the senior side, he made 65 appearances and recorded 16 goals during 11 years.
Bunbury was eventually inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in April 2006. Similarly in 2012, as part of the Canadian Soccer Association’s centennial celebration, he was named to the all-time Canada XI men’s team.