The Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) quest for the Golden Jaguars to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup through the inaugural Nations League began yesterday as they officially launched Project 100 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
According to newly appointed Head Coach, Michael Johnson, who is leading the largest Technical Staff ever assembled in the history of the GFF, Project 100 is centered on breaking into the top 100 of the FIFA rankings.
“This Project 100 is pretty simple. While we are here, we have a lot of young players who are given an opportunity to try and be involved in the qualification campaign for the CONCACAF Gold Cup starting in September. So this is a great chance for them to showcase themselves and to show that they really mean business,” said Johnson.
The former Jamaican national player added:”It’s a camp that we’re saying to them, go and make yourself visible, make yourself known to the staff that you are capable of meeting the demands necessary to go and play or be part of this squad, come September.”
Johnson reiterated that it’s an opportunity for the U23s. “Let’s have a look at them, let’s see which ones are capable of stepping up, not just on the field, also off it.” The programme is being held at the Estadio Municipal Jose Maria De Brito Barros and consists of three sessions. Two are facilitated on the field (morning and afternoon) with one classroom session.
“They’ll be down time of course, we can’t go at
this pace all the time, but what we wanted to showcase from the very first stage is that we are here to work; yes we want to have fun at the same time but we want to be doing things the right and proper way. That means we want to take them out of their comfort zone, we want to make them uncomfortable and see how they handle the training. We’ve also got some interesting runs for them just to see the character of them without the ball. So this camp is really about challenging them physically, mentally, tactically and technically.”
He added:”I think it was really good for us to get an insight into some of the players, the staff as well, the intensity and what they want to play at; they’re a good group. What we’ve seen today is that they’re an honest group, they gave you everything, technically they are ok and also physically, you know the players can move. I think where we really need to work is tactically and that’s why we did a session this afternoon based upon where should you be when somebody’s got the ball, what’s your movements off the ball, how do you receive it.”
The sessions will continue today with a game between the players as they prepare for the first of several matches against Brazilian opposition.