National U-17 team enjoys major success at CFU World Cup Qualifier

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THE technical staff that accompanied the National U-17 Men’s football team along with General Secretary of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Noel Adonis held a press briefing yesterday at the GFF’s Headquarters in Section K Campbellville at which they applauded the team’s excellent performance at the recently concluded first stage of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Group Stage World Cup Qualifier which took place in Dominica.
Guyana drew 2-2 with the Netherlands Antilles in their first encounter and after they got into their stride they went on to thrash Dominica 5-0 and Aruba 7-0 in their second and third encounters respectively.

Adonis classified the team’s efforts as a tremendous performance, a fact that goes without saying. He also commended them on their tremendous representation of not only their home country but also the GFF and of course themselves.
Also giving praise to the youngsters were the team of individuals, namely Carlos Bernard who is the team’s manager, Sampson Gilbert who is the head coach, Herbert McPherson who was his assistant, and Linden France who is the Technical Development Officer of the GFF that saw the footballers through from the preparatory phase to the competition.
Bernard revealed that a major factor in their favour was that most of the team had prior knowledge of what is required of them at such international competitions as most of the U-15 players who were chosen to represent Guyana in a goodwill game against Suriname last year were retained for this U-17 team. He said that this did wonders for the cohesion of the players as they were familiar with each other.
Gilbert, in giving his coaches point-of-view said that from the start of the players’ encampment at the Diocesan Youth Centre physical development was the most important aspect that was a part of the training. He said that this was used as the fundamental basis to develop the team’s tactical awareness which later proved to be the defining element between the locals and their Caribbean counterparts.
He made notable mention of the GFF for going to the lengths of sensitising the local coaches as to the technicalities of modern-day football which he believes played a part in augmenting the ability of the team.
The coach also accounted for what was regarded as a poor showing in the first match saying that the hiccups in the travel arrangements affected the state of the team as they were not able to get proper rest going into the competition but they got their bearings and delivered adequate performances in their other games.
The next step is the second round which was originally scheduled to take place  August 18-22 in Jamaica but the exact date and location is uncertain at the moment.
In light of Guyana advancing, GFF’s Technical Development Officer, Lyndon France, said that the technical team will be going back to the drawing board in order to make their next campaign a feasible one. He stressed that improvement is definitely needed for the locals to face off against and compete on the same level as the tougher Caribbean nations such as Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.
France noted that physical power and decision-making are the areas that will receive emphasis during training for the next round of competition.