Wayne Dover, interim head-coach of the senior national football team, the Golden Jaguars, said yesterday that the team had adequate preparation for today’s friendly International against Martinique at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground.
The Golden Jaguars will battle the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifier from 20:00hrs and, according to Dover, playing at the venue will not be a hindrance.
Speaking during a press conference held at the Signature Inn, Alberttown, Dover said: “The MSC ground has always been a ground that has been integral in Guyana’s football. There have been played a number of International games at the ground and the fact that there have been an absence of games there recently is not a detriment to us. We are still at home and, as the President (GFF president Wayne Forde) mentioned, the atmosphere we are expecting, it can only augurs well for us.
According to Dover a number of the players are familiar with the conditions at the ground.
“Some of the guys who are in the squad have played there before and many locals would have played at the venue. Based on what was said about the improvements, we should be comfortable on the night.”
The Martinique outfit arrived yesterday at 14:15hrs at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle led by chief tactician, Jean-Marc Civault and captain, Kevin Parsemain.
Dover said he was satisfied with what he saw at the end of the preparatory period.
“The reality is that these guys have been there before and done it and even a board session a day before the game or on the day is quite enough for some of them.
“The time has not been the factor with regards to their preparation but we maximised on the available players to us throughout the last four days.
“There has been great improvement over the last two sessions with regards to what we set out to achieve in those sessions. I am quite satisfied at the end of yesterday’s session with some of the things that we saw,” he declared.
Dover, recently named head coach after being assistant to former coach Jamaal Shabazz, thanked the GFF for his appointment.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Guyana Football Federation for this moment in my career as the interim head-coach. It has been a position that I worked in on two to three occasions and it’s a challenge that I look forward in my life to always take up and help the forward movement of Guyana’s football. We will assure that tomorrow (today) evening we give the fans and the nation a desired victory and everyone will be happy at the end of 90 minutes.”
Quizzed about his approach to the contest, Dover said: “The fact that Martinique has been touted as one of the top teams in the region and they have qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and they are fielding a very strong team, we as a nation, have demonstrated that we can do good at the international level and we are going to approach the game very conservative in the early stages and then we will assess things.
“More or less once the situation has played out itself, we will try to impose our will on the opponent.”
He said that despite the match not being an officially-ranked match due to Martinique not being a member of FIFA, he still expects a good performance from the team.
“The guys are still very upbeat in putting down a good performance because every game that a player plays he needs to perform to maintain his spot on the team so, one of the most important things is they will have to demonstrate in this game that they deserve a next call-up for them.”
Assistant Coach Charles Pollard took thanked the GFF for his post.
“I want to thank the GFF for giving me this opportunity to fulfill one of my lifetime dreams. I think transforming from a player to a coach is something different but the desire is still here. Ever since I got the phone call from Mr. (Wayne) Dover, it was a privilege for me to comeback in this capacity to represent Guyana. I am just happy to be here to work towards the team and take Guyana football forward.”
Golden Jaguars Captain Samuel Coz said:” I would like to thank the GFF for the organization so far for putting on the fixture against Martinique. The boys have been training well, preparation has been good and now it’s time to focus on the game and try and bring the result home.”
He said that any opportunity for the players to represent the country is an honour adding that they will work assiduously to secure the positive result.