..Brazilian Márcio Máximo named as interim replacement
JUST one year after being named as Head Coach of the ‘Golden Jaguars’, Michael Johnson resigned from the post, according to the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), to accept “a position in England that will be announced soon.”
Johnson’s last official date as head coach of the country’s Senior Men’s National team, the GFF said in a release, was August 13, while the Wayne Forde-led Federation named Brazilian Márcio Máximo as the Interim Head Coach and man that will be in charge of the Golden Jaguars when they roar in the up-coming Concacaf Nations League.
Johnson, 46, stood on the sidelines for 10 matches during his one year stint with the Golden Jaguars, but only mustered two wins, losing to Suriname, French Guiana (2 – 1), Haiti (3 – 1), Bermuda (1 – 0), the USA (4 – 1), Panama (4 – 2), while drawing with Barbados (2 – 2) and Trinidad and Tobago (1 – 1).
Under Johnson, Guyana defeated only Turks and Caicos (8 – 0) and Belize (2 – 1). The game against Barbados was later won on technicality after the Island fielded a player who was deemed ineligible by FIFA and as such, a 3 – 0 result was returned in favor of Guyana.
To Johnson’s credit, he would go down as the first coach to qualify the senior men’s team for their first major tournament in the sport – the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
However, some pundits had discredited Johnson’s accomplishment, stating that the qualification process was not as difficult as those his predecessors had to play to qualify for the CONCACAF showpiece, and also, given the fact that had Barbados not blundered and made their technical mistake with regards to proper documentation to one of their players, the Golden Jaguars would not have made the journey to the USA this summer.
Wayne Forde, president of the GFF, the release said, on behalf of the Executive Committee, stated that he was proud of the work done by Johnson, especially in aiding the professional development of the senior national programme and the creditable performance of the team at its inaugural Gold Cup participation.
Meanwhile, Máximo, the GFF noted, comes to the post with a CONMEBOL pro licence and over 30 years experience as a Coach and Coaching Instructor at both club and national team levels.
To date, he has coached the Brazil National U-17 and U-20 teams (1992-1993), Qatar National U-20 Team, Cayman Islands National Team (1999-2002), which resulted in Caribbean Cup and World Cup Qualification respectively and the Tanzania National Team (2006 – 2010), when they reached qualifiers for the World Cup – Germany and South Africa – and also qualified for the African Cup of Nations for the first time ever.
The coach has also worked with club teams across the world including Germany, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Scotland (United Kingdom).
The new Head Coach, who is expected to arrive in Guyana next week, will reside in Guyana during his eight-month tenure and will work with the Guyana-based senior national team players to improve their chances of breaking into the team.
The GFF release pointed out that Máximo is also expected to contribute to the national development programmes and Coaching Education initiatives.
Following the conclusion of the CONCACAF Nations League, a performance evaluation will be done, which will inform the next steps to be taken.