Recently appointed Golden Jaguars head-coach Michael Johnson, has hailed the inaugural and historic Guyana Football Federation (GFF) “Train and Play” Camp in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as excellent.
This was revealed via an official press release from the Guyana Football Federation [GFF]. Speaking prior to the team’s departure, the former Reggae Boyz International said, “It’s been an excellent two weeks, we’ve had fun, we’ve had laughter, moments of pain, moments of frustration but all in all its been an absolute wonderful camp.”
However, the camp was marred by the squad refusing to play their final practice match against Bangu Atletico on Thursday in protest of unpaid stipends by the federation.
This was confirmed by GFF President Wayne Forde on Friday during a press conference held at the entity’s Campbellville headquarters.
The Golden Jaguars ended their tour with a record of two losses and a draw against state teams.
The maiden trek formed part of the GFF’s preparation for the impending CONCACAF Nation’s League, which the local side commences on September 6th against Barbados at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.
According to Johnson, “Where we go from here is to keep the connections open and keep moving things forward. We’re going to be in Guyana in a matter of five days, so it’s a great opportunity again to get to connect with the staff, connect with the players and continue the process. Our job’s not just about the first men’s senior starting team, it’s also about the development of the younger players and the coaches.”
Guyana’s first assignment on their return will be the opening round of qualifiers in the CONCACAF Nation’s League in their bid to secure a maiden berth in the Gold Cup.
The England native disclosed, “I know that we’ve never qualified for a major tournament but I really have a strong belief in the team, the staff, and everybody connected; that we’re in for some exciting times. Having worked with the 23s and seen some of the players that can breach that group, as well as having seen some of the names on that first squad that we’re picking, it’s really exciting and I can’t wait to get to work. What we are promising is a team that would be representative of Guyana, a team that’s going to play with vibrancy, fluidity and most importantly give 100% towards the country.”