Guyana head to Santo Domingo for World Cup qualifiers
THERE is no place for Neil Danns in coach Marcio Maximo’s 23-man squad which will face Soca Warriors on March 25 and The Bahamas on March 30 in the Dominican Republic. Danns, one of the most decorated players to suit-up for Golden Jaguars, will make way for a number of debutants in Guyana’s quest to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Chronicle spoke exclusively to the Brazilian coach prior to the team’s departure from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle yesterday, and he was reluctant to directly address Danns’ omission, or even say why he wasn’t considered for the opening two matches.
“I’m not talking about a player that’s going out. Because if I talk about him, I have to talk about five players who are not in this squad. If I talk about one player (Neil Danns), I have to talk about the others that are not part of the squad. I prefer to give my attention to who is in the squad,” Maximo said.
The team will be captained by Sam Cox (Hampton & Richmond FC), and will see UK-based Nathan Moriah-Welsh (AFC Bournemouth), Miguel Scarlett (unattached) and Bayli Spencer-Adams (Watford FC) make their International debut.
Terrence Vancooten (Stevenage FC), Mathew Briggs (Vijle Boldk), Callum Harriott (Colchester United), Emery Welshman (Hapoel Raanana), Keanu Marsh-Brown (Newport County AFC), Akel Clarke (Mount Pleasant Academy), Kai McKenzie-Lyle (Cambridge United FC) and Kadell Daniel (Margate FC) are the other overseas-based players selected. Kelsey Benjamin (Guyana Defence Force FC), Omari Glasgow (Fruta Conquerors), Ryan Hackett (Guyana Defence Force), Nicholas McArthur (Fruta Conquerors FC), Jeremy Garrett (Guyana Defence Force), Daniel Wilson (Guyana Police Force), Trayon Bobb (Uitvlugt Warriors), Pernell Schultz (Guyana Police Force FC), Nicolai Andrews (Santos FC) and Shawn Adonis (Guyana Police Force FC) are the locally-based players selected.
Asked to comment on the composition of the squad, Maximo said he believes the players selected are the ones that suit his system and style of play, adding that
“basically, we did our evaluation according to our previous games and the rounds that the guys did very well.
“Also we renew both groups … every two years, we must renew the team, but maintain the competitive level but with more young players.”
Meanwhile, captain Cox, pointed to the competitive, tough game against Trinidad and Tobago, noting that “we’ve got a rich history with them. We know they’re going to offer and present a real challenge. We are preparing ourselves for that by coming into camp a couple of days earlier, just to give ourselves that extra preparation and to bond within the team. That’s going to be invaluable.”
On Friday, June 4, Guyana are scheduled to travel to St Kitts & Nevis for their third game and then host Puerto Rico on Tuesday, June 8.
Guyana last faced Trinidad and Tobago during the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where, despite a beautiful goal scored by Neil Danns, the two sides ended the match with a 1-1 draw.