With the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) declaring their intention to advertise locally and internationally for the Golden Jaguars senior coaching post, interim tactician Wayne Dover, has signaled his intent in remaining at the helm of the programme.
Speaking to Stabroek Sport, Dover, 44, said, “Yes I am going to apply for the post because I want to continue to make positive contributions to Guyana football. Being previously in the capacities of the head-coach, assistant coach and interim coach, I think my years of experience working at the international level is vast and being a homegrown coach, it is important for me to apply for the job to see if I will be confirmed to continue Guyana’s football development.”
Following the exit of Trinidad and Tobago native Jamaal Shabazz (who was in his second stint) in 2016, after the embarrassing 4-2 loss to Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Qualifiers on local soil, Dover was appointed on an interim basis.
His record to date stands at two wins and as many draws in four matches. A scoreless draw with Martinique and a 1-1 result with Trinidad and Tobago are positioned alongside a 1-0 loss to Grenada and a 2-1 defeat to Indonesia.
Asked if he is qualified and experienced enough to be given the reins of the programme on a permanent basis, Dover declared, “I don’t know what they looking for, I think that my years of experience and the performances and results over the years have put me in a very good position to continue in a permanent role to help in the rebuilding of the team. I have a vast knowledge of the players and the situation of Guyana and the understanding to work with limited resources.”
The former Alpha United head-coach possesses an English FA B-license and UEFA Preparatory A-License certificate, along with other international and local coaching accolades to support his case for appointment.
Dover has been a staple of the national setup since 2004, participating in over 100 international matches at the various levels inclusive of Men, Women, U-23 and U-20 divisions.
Among the notable campaigns are four FIFA World Cup Qualifying tournaments [2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018] and several CFU Caribbean Cup Championships.
According to Dover, “I stand a very good chance, given my Curriculum Vitae (CV) but at the end of the day, the GFF has the final decision on which direction they want to go. Sometimes the CV might not even matter in the long run if they choose to go in a different direction. I have been the head-coach for Guyana since 2005-2008, which was my first stint, my second stint was 2009-2010 and then I served as the assistant coach with Jamaal Shabazz from 2011-2012.”
Quizzed whether he is surprised by the GFF’s decision to advertise internationally for the post, Dover revealed, “I am not surprised, one of the important things for the public to note is that it wasn’t a surprise announcement for me. When the Wayne Forde-led administration came in, the President met with me and indicated that he wanted to advertise for the post because he wanted to give a fair chance to everyone.”
He further declared, “I welcome that because people have to know that I don’t own the head-coach position despite being there for a while. The fact that the President has announced that he will advise for the post, it gives an opportunity to all coaches in the country to apply as well. With that now, no one can say that the GFF is favouring anyone. Qualifications and experience will come into play whether local or international coach heads the national team.”
Questioned about the contribution of his interim role on the programme, Dover stated, “As the interim-coach, the programme has embarked on rebuilding the senior national team with much more homegrown locally based players and the many overseas born players who have already been in the programme and those who might have an interest to be a part.”
According to Dover, “In the transition, we are carefully trying to build a squad to compete and at the same time get good results. It’s a long and painful process and we know that the fans and sponsors focus on results but we need to understand where we are at this juncture. In any rebuilding they will have mixed results, which may not look good in the eyes of many but the fact remain that with the limited time available for preparation and the steady changes of players to arrive at the best possible squad, you will have these kind of results.”
The Golden Jaguars outfit is slated to compete at the inaugural League of Nations Championship, which features all 41 CONCACAF nations and is geared to replace most international friendlies in the Confederation.
Teams will be divided into three categories based on ranking and quality, with victories resulting in points in a relegation and promotion structure.
The competition will also serve as the direct qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and form the basis for future FIFA World Cup Qualifier seeding.