The new Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Technical Director, Englishman Ian Greenwood, who was officially appointed on the 8th October, announced yesterday said that his primary focus is on youth development and coaching education.
Greenwood takes over from Claude Bolton who resigned March 1st, following a lengthy selection process which netted thirteen applications from eight countries including Guyana, England, Scotland, Portugal and the Philippines.
Speaking at his maiden press conference held at the GFF Headquarters, the former Leeds United coach said, “My focuses are on youth development, grassroots and coach education, my belief is that if we can get the foundation correct, over time it will improve the overall football infrastructure in Guyana”.
Greenwood who has over ten years of experience at various levels of the sport, and possesses a UEFA Professional Coaching Licence, revealed he has penned a four year deal to help transform Guyana’s footballing fortune, a task he believes can be achieved once the proper structures are in place.
Asked about the factors that influenced his decision in applying for the post, he said, “My biggest reason was that I was looking for a new project. My contract at Leeds United came to end and I was looking for a project that I see as long term. The things going for Guyana’s football is all geared towards the future”.
According to Greenwood, the developmental nature of the project is a perfect fit for his credentials and background, noting, “The biggest thing was coming to a place where I can create a philosophy”.
With his previous experiences, Greenwood crafted professional club syllabuses and technical projects, a task he will be expected to continue in his attempt to transform the local landscape and develop the quality of the local contingent of players and coaches.
Questioned about his impression of the current state of affairs, the veteran tactician said that the nation has tremendous potential despite the current lack of resources, adding, “We need to focus on the structure and guideline of development of football, we need to understand how we want our football”.
He added that the Dutch and Brazilian style of play is known and understood, declaring that, “We need to develop our own style of play and what we expect from our players, this is the biggest thing we need to understand”.
On the other hand, GFF President Wayne Forde stated that he is excited about the appointment of Greenwood whose emphasis on youth development which has been lacking following several failed attempts in the past.
While praising the work done by the previous technical director, Forde posited that the foundation for the discipline’s development is very important and that he is optimistic following Greenwood’s appointment of the sport’s future.
Asked who will be footing the financial package assigned to the technical director, and if the senior setup will also fall under his purview, Forde indicated the customary funding from FIFA will be utilized for this purpose and that the newest member of the GFF will be involved at every level of the sport.
Greenwood has served as Development Coach, Head Coach and Academy Coach of a number of English Football Clubs. These included, Huddersfield Town Football Club – of the English Championship, 2007 – 2014 (Academy Coach); Leeds City College Football Academy, 2010 – 2012 (Head Coach); and Leeds United Football Club (English Championship) – his last place of employment – as a Development Coach (2004 – 2007) and as Academy Coach (2014 – 2016).
Greenwood has an MSc Degree in Sports Coaching, and has served as a Coach Mentor and Lecturer at several institutions inclusive of Leeds City College, Huddersfield Town Football Club, The Football Association and Leeds Beckett University.