GFF gears up with Shabazz for Bajan encounter

GFF gears up with Shabazz for Bajan encounter

By Rawle Toney

Considered Guyana’s most successful Technical Director, Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz was on Monday named Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars (Guyana’s Senior National Team) which will be facing Barbados on February 1.

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) also named their provisional squad for the game set for the Barbados National Stadium, featuring a blend of local and overseas players, including Christopher Nurse, touted as Guyana’s most successful captain along with Canadians Jamaal Smith and Adrian Butters.

Trinidad and Tobago Pro-League players; Pernell Shultz and Trayon Bobb were also called along with 26 local players, who, according to the Shabazz, were selected following their recent showing at their respective association end-of-year tournament.

The local based players are – O’Neil Carter, Oswald Cornett, Omallo Williams, Travis Henry, Solomon Austin, Kris Camacho, Quincy Madramootoo, Trevon Lythcott, Dwain Jacobs, Amos Ramsey, Daniel Wilson, Keron Solomon, Sheldon Holder, Clive Nobrega, Colin Nelson, Dwight Peters, Tishard Joseph, Dwayne Lawrence, Domini Garnett, Travis Hillman, Rawle Gittings, Denver Dennis, Calvin Sheppard, Joshua Brown, Eusi Phillips and Vurlon Mills.

Alpha United’s Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover will serve as Shabazz’s assistant while the rest of the technical staff are Trevor Burnett (Equipment Manager), Faizal Khan (Administrative & Commercial Manager), Mark Xavier (Operations Manager), Anson Ambrose (Trainer), Andrew Hazel (Goalkeeper Coach), and Debita HarriPersad (Physiotherapist).

Contractual arrangements

Meanwhile, Chairman of the GFF’s Normalisation Committee Clinton Urling, said that Shabazz’s presence is only for the Barbados encounter but though all indication hinted to him having another long spell with the Golden Jaguars, the contractual arrangement that exist is only for the one off trip to the Land of the Flying Fish.

“We haven’t made a decision about who will be the coach for the world cup qualifiers” Urling said, while adding “our focus at the moment is on the Barbados game, and then after we sit down with the Technical Team; Shabazz is a part of that team and we’ll decide on the most appropriate steps, I think until June for the World Cup Qualifiers to make a pronouncement for the team moving forward. He will be around after the Barbados game but we haven’t made a firm decision as it relates to who will be the head coach”.

Dover is called my many, the best coach on Guyana’s local circuit but yet, again, he fell into the position of playing second fiddle to the Trinidadian, raising concerns by many that he’s not fit enough to lead the country’s football.

But, Urling when confronted with the question by News Source on why Guyanese was not chosen instead of Shabazz, highlighted that “for us (Normalisation Committee), you can talk on experience and qualification. On both fronts, Jamaal has an exemplary record and in terms of his experience being the Head coach for the Jaguars during their historic run, taking Guyana’s senior men’s national team to the highest level of the world cup, when we did our assessment, he went on top and in the short space of time that the Normalisation Committee had, and the invitation from Barbados to participate in this game, we felt the best person and the person with their ears on the ground and pulse for Guyana’s football, he’s number one.”

“There’s Dover there also who could’ve been the coach of the team but looking back at Jamaal’s experience on both the first stint and the second stint and where he took the team then, i think that was sufficient to say at this point in time that he’s fit for the job”.

The team will assemble on January 22 for encampment before winning out to Barbados for the game that makes the opening of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) domestic season.

Filed: 12th January, 2015

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