With less than three days remaining before they depart local shores for South American giant Brazil, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has officially released their ‘Train and Play’ squad for the two week trip.
The tour which runs from August 12th-26th, will witness Guyana playing four matches against their Brazilian counterparts.
The 23 member roster reads; Goalkeepers: Jason Crowell, Jermaine Cumberbatch, Sese Norville; Defenders: Raushan Ritch, Kester Jacobs, Kevin Layne, Jake Newton, Kevin Dundas, Jelani Smith, Samuel Cox, Cecil Jackman; Midfielders: Delwyn Fraser, Job Caesar, Curtez Kellman, Anthony Belfield, Ryan Hackett, Vurlon Mills; Forwards: Eon Alleyne, Daniel Wilson, Kelsey Benjamin, Delroy Fraser, Delon Lanferman and Sheldon Holder.
On the management side, a whopping 17 members will travel with the team. They are Technical Director Ian Greenwood, Head-Coach Michael Johnson [overseas], Senior Coach Taff Rahman [overseas], Goalkeeper coach Ademola Bankole [overseas], Development Coach Calvin Allen, Development Coach Phillip Carrington, Development Goalkeeper Coach Eon DeVeira, Team Doctor Alex Hawkins, Physiotherapist Denzil Hernandez, Head of Sports Science Dr. Mark Faghy [overseas], Head of People & Culture Michael Jones [overseas], Head of Recruitment & Player Liaison Faizal Khan, Performance Analyst and Head Scout Asser Lutu [overseas], Team Operations Manager Rawle Adams, Assistant Operations Manager Ken Grant and Equipment Manager Trevor Burnett.
However, questions have been raised about the criteria which was utilized to select the squad and the amount of money that the federation will be possibly expending to facilitate such a large management staff, especially the overseas contingent.
The federation has not yet paid the players for the Indonesia friendly played in November 2017, or the Beach Football team for the February 2017 qualifiers in The Bahamas, but are possibly expending millions of dollars here on the inflated management staff.
According to a source close the GFF, the selection, of some and the omission, of several players, have also raised red flags, with many believing that a partisan approach was taken in arriving at the final squad.
Among the notable names omitted from the squad are Pernell Schultz, Shaquille Agard, Hubert Pedro and Akel Clarke.
This is even more baffling given that several of the selected players have played less than three games in Season Three of the Elite League.
Vurlon Mills, who also happens to be a member of the GFF Technical Department, as well as, Kevin Layne and Jermaine Cumberbatch who have yet to play two games in the Elite League, were selected.
On the other hand, Benjamin who has not played more than three games but will make the trip, instead of Schultz, 24, who has played majority of the matches thus far and is a stalwart of the national programme.
The omission of the national goalkeeper and Fruta Conqueror Clarke also raises questions. There is no place for Clarke among the inexperienced trio of Sese Norville, Jason Cromwell and Cumberbatch.
The former Central FC player played the majority of the matches in the first round, and is an integral part of the best defence in the tournament, which has conceded only six goals.
Clarke boasts a far superior record to Cromwell, who has conceded upwards of 15 goals, while Norville has played less than four matches. Another questionable selection is that of the 34 year old England-based Jake Newton, owing to his alleged inactivity.