By Duncan Saul
With Guyana set to battle Martinique today at the Mackenzie Sports Club MSC ground, Linden from 20:00hrs, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde said the federation was committed to restoring the profile of the Golden Jaguars.
Addressing media operatives at the Signature Inn, Alberttown, Forde declared: “The goal of the executive committee is to bring back the prominence to the Golden Jaguar brand. We can’t do that by simply participating in regional tournaments. If we can find opportunities where these guys can come together as often as possible and play against high calibre opponents, there is no doubt in my mind, and data and statistics will bear me out, that they will be able to finally in a very consistent way, register that Guyana is in fact a force to reckon with within CFU and not so distant future beyond CFU.
“We are committed to that task. We are going to do everything within our power to play on every single FIFA date that is available to us and in between. As we stand right now we have three games already lined up, the strategy is very simple, it’s not complicated, we have some opponents that are lesser than Martinique and some of the other powerful guys and for those encounters we going to be using an exclusively local based team.”
Forde said a successful Golden Jaguars team will attract support from companies.
“….Because we are placing so much emphasis on the brand, we have to be very cautious that, when we are coming up against opponents that will bring the level of talent that Martinique is bringing with it, that we do not put the brand out there to be slaughtered for want of a better word because we are negotiating all sorts of arrangements for the national team and companies want to be associated with success and they want to have a brand that can carry their product in a respectable manner.”
The GFF president said that he was pleased with the appointments of Wayne Dover and Charles Pollard in the capacity of interim head-coach and assistant coach respectively.
He said that he was very encouraged by the efforts to prepare the Mackenzie Sports Club ground adding that the federation…. “will do everything in our power to bring prominent football back to the Linden community.”
Economically viable —-subhead
Forde said it was more economical to take today’s game to Linden and praised the Linden community for their support.
“I am so pleased that they have responded so well. We have supported them in every way that we could. We have used some of our partners to come on board and help so I believe that they understand that we are serious about bringing football to Linden and they now understand. We have been saying it for a while and now we are doing it. I think they have responded in the manner that encourages us and we are going to be taking much more games there.
“I issued a challenge to the Linden community in an interview, the challenge that I laid out to them was that if we can have an atmosphere similar to the one we have become so accustomed to when we look at the Barclays Premier League, the other international friendlies that I have lined up, at least two more will go to the Linden community because Linden community also presents to the GFF the best financial opportunities in bringing off a big game like this. The cost for the venue is low, the logistics is low, marketing the game is very low because you are talking about a small community with a decent population so if you can get less than one third of that population in that venue is a win-win for us because we have seen evidence of decline in attendance at games in Georgetown and the other venues.”
“Even though playing the game is our main priority, we also have to be able to do this in a very economical way so we simply can’t continue to incur in excess of $3,000,000 to take a game to a venue and don’t have a single chance of recovering that money. We are not going to see the finest venue available to us in Guyana but what we are going to see is the spirit of the community coming to life to make something happen for one of the most prized possession in this country which is the Golden Jaguars football team.”