`We have to make our country proud for the 50th anniversary’

—Shabazz on upcoming matches against Canada and Curacao

Goalkeeper Alex Murray (right) going through a catching drill under the guidance of goalkeeper coach Andre Hazel following the commencement of training camp and encampment for the Golden Jaguars ahead of their clash with Canada’s Olympic Team

Golden Jaguars Head-coach Jamaal Shabazz yesterday said the composition of the squad to play against Canada’s U23 side this Sunday at the Providence National Stadium will be influenced by several factors and that the matchup will also be utilised to give fringe players much needed exposure.

With only five days to their encounter, the Golden Jaguars officially commenced training and encampment yesterday at the Camp Ayanganna ground.

Speaking during an invited comment following the conclusion to the opening session of team training, Shabazz said:“We decided to go with the more home based players for two reasons. One, it is not a FIFA date so the foreign based players will be hard pressed to come and two, we want to widen our pool of players so we are giving some playing time to players who are not starting in other matches.”

He noted while many of the players are from the “usual suspects” Slingerz FC and Alpha United, several individuals have made it into the training setup due to their recent performances such Fruta Conquerors duo Hubert Pedro and Jahaal Greaves and GFC’s Cortez Kellman.

Asked to describe the quality of the newcomer, England-based Ishankie Charles, he said consultation was done with many coaches in England and that based on the scouting reports, he has the quality to be a part of the programme.

“I felt that at this time it’s right to give him his opportunity. He plays left back and he plays in the lower divisions in England just like a lot of our players that come into the programme,” he added.

According to Shabazz, while the focus in friendly matches is not on the opposition, he declared:“We have to keep our eyes on the fact that we have a match coming up against Curacao and we have to make our country proud for the 50th anniversary. We are not focused too much on who Canada brings, it’s who we have.”

The Golden Jaguars will face-off with Canada’s Olympic team Sunday at the National Stadium in Providence. The six overseas-based players that are part of the Guyana squad are siblings Anthony and Daniel Whyte, Mustapha Hack, Pernell Schultz, Charles Ishankie and Marcel Barrington.

On the other hand, the local contingent reads Alex Murray, Joshua Browne, Solomon Austin, Colin Nelson, Kester Jacobs, Eon Alleyne, Gregory Richardson, Devon Millington, Daniel Wilson, Dwight Peters, Trayon Bobb, Quincy Adams, Delon Lanferman, Clive Nobrega, Hubert Pedro, Les Charles Critchlow, Jahaal Greaves and surprise selection Cortez Kellman.

Similarly, the team will continue training throughout the week leading up to the encounter, with sessions in the morning and afternoon at various venues inclusive of the National Stadium in Providence and the Camp Ayanganna ground.

On another note, the GFF has issued the team for the touring Canadians. They are Marco Carducci, Chris Serban, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé, Jordan Murrell, Luca Gasparotto, Louis Béland-Goyette, Chris Mannella, Ben McKendry, Jordan Hamilton, Caleb Clarke, Ben Fisk,  Richmond Laryea, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Raheem Edwards, Skylar Thomas, Manuel Aparicio, Brandon John and Maxime Crépeau.

 

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