The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) on Friday named Sherwyne Caesar as its male Footballer-of-the-Year for 2017 while Tiandi Smith copped the female Footballer-of-the-Year award.
The federation hosted its stakeholders to a well-organised Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Sleep Inn International Hotel and Casino, Church Street, where the announcements were made.
Caesar, in 2017, led the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to championship honours in the GFF’s Stag Beer Elite League. The striker was the most prolific goal scorer when that tournament ended.
Smith, on the other hand, was described as the most developed payer by GFF President, Wayne Forde, who lauded her commitment to personal development.
Smith, during Guyana’s CONCACAFF Girls U17 Football Qualifying Championship match against Barbados at the Leonora football pitch, created quite a buzz when she drilled one of the most savouring free-kicks to score in Guyana’s 1-5 defeat to the Barbadians.
In the junior category, Orville Daniels and Jalade Trim were named the male and female junior Footballers-of-the-Year for their continued growth and exploits in 2017.
Female and male coaches of the year went to Akilah Castello and Bilaal Nantambu, respectively.
The GDF not surprisingly, was awarded the federation’s senior Club-of-the-Year after winning both the male and female titles.
Fruta Conquerors FC tackled the junior Club-of-the-Year as Buxton United FC won GFF’s Fair Play award 2017.
Longstanding coach, Gordon Brathwaite, won the Presidential Merit award for a ‘Life of Service to Football.’
Coach Jamal Shabazz was also the recipient of a Presidential Merit award, earning honours for the most successful team coach.
Meanwhile, the East Bank Football Association and the Rupununi Football Association were awarded Association-of-the-Year and Most Improved Association of 2017 respectively.
The media were also recognized as Rawle Toney was awarded as GFF’s print media Journalist-of-the-Year while Travis Hopkinson copped the non-print Journalist-of-the-Year award.
Avenash Ramzan was the federation’s online Journalist-of-the-Year while Orlando Charles was recognized for his efforts behind the lens as he was awarded Photographer-of-the-Year.
GFF also recognized a number of their corporate sponsors and partners, most notably the Guyana Beverage Inc., Banks DIH, NAMILCO, Digicel, Ansa McAl and Church’s Chicken, among others.
President Forde, who delivered the feature address which preceded a cultural extravaganza of Tassa and African drumming, said that the federation’s priorities during the last two and half years was centered around providing harmony around the sport adding that the GFF, under his watch, returned to full compliance of FIFA.
“Only recently Guyana was returned to full compliance and restoration of FIFA’s funding support for our development programmes, bringing a welcome end to two very difficult years for the football family,” Forde noted of the federation which is now in its 116th year.
He added that this was not achieved without the many challenges, adding that “long held friendship have been threatened and some may have been lost.”
Forde said that Guyana must adapt to the changes much like football’s parent body, FIFA for a secure future for Guyana’s boys and girls’.
The focus of football, he declared is to advance Guyana’s cause to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, a provision for which Guyana has already begun to lay building blocks for.