Hockey Board selects junior training squad with eye on 2020 Pan Am games

Flashback: Guyana’s Junior National Men’s Team at the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships in Toronto, Canada.

The Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) has shortlisted a 40-member provisional squad of under 19 boys to begin preparations for the Junior Pan American Championships, scheduled for 2020.

Over the next two years, the squad will be prepared under the tutelage of a team of experienced coaches which includes current and former senior national players Dwayne Scott, Anthony Cole, Dwight Sullivan, Robert France, Christopher Low-Koan and Robert Fernandes. Physical trainer Barrington Browne will be in charge of the squad’s physical conditioning, while other resource personnel will address the sports psychology aspect of preparations.

Starting with next week’s GT&T Senior National Indoor Championships, the squad will be competing in all local tournaments against their senior club counterparts, to develop the team chemistry and unity that will be needed in the international arena.

The GHB is also hoping to send the team on two warmup tours to Trinidad & Tobago to expose the players to artificial turf prior to the 2020 championships. The squad will be spearheaded by senior nationals Kareem McKenzie and Meshach Sargeant, as well as Michael Hing and Omar Hopkinson, who were all part of Guyana’s last junior team that competed at the quadrennial tournament in 2016.

The emergence of new talents like Samuel Woodroffe, Warren Williams, Paul D’Andrade, Nickel Ashby, and the Garnett brothers, along with a number of other players, has generated excitement about the potential of the 2020 team.

“In the recently concluded Indoor Junior National Championships, these players produced such a high level of quality, entertaining hockey that it drew crowds that were on par, or even larger than some of our senior tournaments. I’ve never worked with a squad that has this much talent and depth. From one to 40, each of these players has a real shot of making the 2020 team and that level of competition for places will ensure that the final 18 will be of the highest caliber,” National Head Coach Robert Fernandes said.

The players will meet tomorrow at 3pm at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall for their first training session ahead of next week’s GT&T Senior National Indoor Championships.

The full squad reads: Michael Hing (GK), Kareem McKenzie, Tariq Nelson, Rahim Oliver (GK), John Phang, Meshach Sargeant, Samuel Woodroffe, Shameer Bhagwandin (GK), Baraka Garnett, Samuel Garnett, Shomere Garnett, Tahrea Garnett, Tivesarid Garnett, Yusuf Brant, Symeon Daniels (GK), Shaquon Favorite, Dominic Alleyne, Omar Hopkinson, Deheron Wilkinson, Brandon Abrams, Paul D’ Andrade(GK), Kennard Jerricks, Nandalall Persaud, Theodore Thierens, Jonathan Williams, Warren Williams, Luis Adams, Nickel Ashby, Shemar Boston, Hilmar Chester, Edmond Chinian, Shakeem Fausette, Leroy Geer, Troy Hodge, Oshazay Savory, Ezekiel Springer, Quinn Tobin (GK), Kedar Hopkinson, Shoran James and Steffan Simmons.

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