AS the countdown begins for Guyana’s inaugural participation in the CONCACAF Under-15 Girls tournament from August 6 to 13 at the IMG Academy, Florida, USA, head coach Akilah Castello feels confident that the squad will represent Guyana well in the tournament.
This was revealed as the coaching staff focus on position-specific preparation to emphasise key unit functions with the players as they continue to imbed the Guyana Football Federation’s national playing philosophy.
While pointing out that the squad had a successful period of encampment from July 8 to 16, with 25 members, Castello said the they focused on both unit-specific phases of play and technical repetition.
“During the camp we focused on developing tactical understanding among units of play with a real focus on position-specific coaching. We developed and assessed physical literacy as well as psycho-social skills and specific communication.
The girls proved to the coaching staff that they show a real desire to learn and understand the game, but ultimately their drive is to wear the badge and represent their country,” she said.
“The girls are training consistently at their various ATCs so they came into the national camp with a far greater level of ability than any other previous squad and, most importantly, possess key knowledge of the game.
They are exposed to the GFF playing and coaching philosophy on a weekly basis by the nationwide technical staff. This group has a lot of individual talents with the ability to change a game and it is now our job as coaches to put these pieces together to form an attacking unit built on a rock-solid defensive foundation,” Castello added.
The head coach said preparations will continue with the Guyana-based squad until departure, which is scheduled for Saturday, August 4.
“I’m very optimistic about the girls giving a true representation of themselves as a national team even though it’s their first major competition. The players and staff are continuing with the preparation period emphasising the fine detail in how we play.”
Guyana are scheduled to play their first match in the Under-15 Championship against St Lucia on August 6 at 11:00hrs, followed by Cayman Islands on August 7 at 09:00hrs and The Bahamas on August 9 at 11:00hrs.
The playoff will begin on August 10, following the group qualifiers, with the final set for August 13 at 11:00hrs.