THEIR PRESENCE seemed to have sent shockwaves through the sport of football, most notably on the West Demerara where they’re based, but for Uitvlugt United, Slingerz FC is just like any other club they would face.
The two sides will collide in tomorrow’s semi-final at the Den Amstel ground when action in the Stag Beer West Side Mashramani Championship Cup continues.
“Slingerz FC is just like every other club we’ve faced” said Uitvlugt team coach Herrif-Roy Simon who has been at the helm of the team’s coaching staff since 2009.
“We don’t have a fear for them just like we don’t for any other team in Guyana. I know we have a good team, a pretty young side at that and so we are heading into the game with much confidence,” Simon said.
Simon said that his team, led by captain Jamaal Harvey, has lost a few players to Slingerz FC during the latter’s formation, nonetheless, his present crop of players will do just enough to get them into Sunday’s finals, where they will have a chance to contest for the $500 000 first prize.
“Having lost Orvil and Seon Bobb along with Kester Alberts, it did hurt us a bit because those guys had played an important part for Uitvlugt over the years, but I’m impressed with this bunch of players I have right now. But I think it will be a great game tomorrow and I hope plenty people will come out to see the games as well,” said Simon.
The Uitvlugt coach is also of the opinion that with the putting together of Slingerz FC, the “level of football would be raised on the west side and more competitions will be played. I know the club would want to be number one, but they have plenty of work to do to get there because we are here as well.”
Meanwhile, though they did get past Beavers by a 1-0 margin, Slingerz FC coach Gordon ‘Ultimate Warrior’ Braithwaite was not so impressed by his team’s showing but did however say that they are not here to lose.
The tournament is organised by the newly formed club, with sponsorship from Stag Beer, Digicel and Hopkinson Mining, so losing is not an option.
“We are going to win this tournament but I know it’s not going to be a walk in the park,” Braithwaite said to a group of reporters after his side’s first game.
Braithwaite is of the opinion that his well-composed unit feel as though they are superior to the other teams on the West Demerara district and fear that a loss could crush their boasting egos.
“Our approach to the game is wrong at the moment. I want the guys to win games, not beat up teams. We are a young club; though we have experienced players, as a unit, we haven’t been together long enough to say we are number one. We haven’t won anything as yet, which makes this tournament important to us,” said the Slingerz FC coach.
A former national stalwart in his own right, the coach known more popularly as the ‘Ultimate Warrior’ stated that “when you have a team like this, clubs are going to come hard at you and well-prepared as well, so I’m hoping my players can see things from this perspective”.
Braithwaite also pointed out that “we will lose a few games here and there cause we’re just like any other club but all in all, I think in time to come we will achieve that number one club status, but like I said, it will not be easy and the sooner my players realise this, it will be better for me”.
The other semi-final game brings together Den Amstel and Seawall United and action kicks off at 19:00hrs.