Updated: Jun 1
The Golden Jaguars, boosted by five-months of intense preparation, are confident ahead of the Concacaf Nation’s League as they pursue a second Gold Cup berth.
Guyana played its first Concacaf matches in 1971. Since then, the Golden Jaguars have narrowly missed out out on League A in a strong qualification campaign, landing in League B of the Concacaf Nations League for the 2019-20 edition.
This year, the team is in League B again after a second-place finish in Group C. Guyana had to settle for runners-up in the group after a loss and draw against Jamaica and a defeat from Antigua.
Over $90M has been spent so far in International exposure for the Senior Men’s National Team over the past few months.
With the heavy expenses involved in preparing the team for the upcoming League, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde also called on corporate Guyana to come on board to support the team.
The team has trained intensely since early January in hopes of finishing top of their group in the Concacaf Nation’s League and eventually making their way back to the Gold Cup.
National Coach Jamaal Shabazz also envisions Guyana’s national team becoming a tier one team someday.
“Tier one is the teams like Mexico, USA, Canada and qualifies you automatically for the gold cup, gives you a favourable draw when it comes to 2026 World Cup. And while some people, in social media especially, are afraid for us to aspire we have a commitment to the country to visualise where we want to go, take the action steps and make the commitment to get there.” Shabazz said.
The Golden Jags have played six away friendlies so far and will now undergo their final preparations in Dominica and Trinidad where they will also play some closed door friendlies.
National Coach Shabazz also put the utmost confidence in the team, even noting their impressive performance against Trinidad where Guyana lead the match until Trinidad narrowly converted it to a draw.
While he notes that the teams the boys will face come June are all “tough opponents”, he has a very “Christian faith” in the team’s ability to win.
He even likened the Golden Jaguars to David in the Christian story of Goliath, “Goliath” in this case being the remarkable victory the team hopes to accomplish.
“In the past, lack of proper expertise in the backroom staff have failed the Caribbean coach. It is a fact. We were able to bring in a strength and conditioning coach that has helped with a programme that has enabled the players to become stronger, fitter. So much so, that when we compare the kilometers players are doing here in training, it compares very favourably with players in the UK and the kilometres they’re doing.” Shabazz noted.
Shabazz additionally called on the Nation to cheer the team on as they compete, noting that there will be “tough moments” but that is “all part of the journey”.
The Jaguars have two away fixtures against Monsterrat and Haiti at the Felix Sanchez Stadium in the Dominican Republic and two home fixtures against Bermuda and Haiti at the Leonora Stadium.
The Guyana Senior Men’s National Team forthcoming round of Concacaf Nations League fixtures:
May 21 to 29 - Training sessions and practice games in Trinidad 30 - Training sessions in the Dominican Republic begin
3 - Training sessions in the Dominican Republic end
4 - Monsterrat vs Guyana
7 - Guyana vs Bermuda
11 - Guyana vs Haiti
14 - Haiti vs Guyana
The following preliminary 31-player shortlist will be reduced to 24 for the three matches in June.
Goalkeepers 1. Alex Murray 2. Quillan Roberts 3. Sese Norville 4. Akel Clarke Defenders 5. Marcus Wilson 6. Quincy Adams 7. Jaylen Jones 8. Jeremy Garrett 9. Kevin Layne 10. Matthew Briggs 11. Leo Lovell 12. Shemar Fraser 13. Sam Cox Midfielders 14. Daniel Wilson 15. Nathan Moriah Welsh 16. Clive Nobrega 17. Job Caesar 18. Curtez Kellman 19. Javier George 20. Neil Danns Forwards 21. Trayon Bobb 22. Marcel Barrington 23. Kelsey Benjamin 24. Jamal Perriera 25. Terell Ondaan 26. Ryan Hackett 27. Pernell Schultz 28. Anthony Jeffrey 29. Omari Glasgow 30. Emery Welshman 31. Stephen Duke McKenna