FORMER English Premier League defender, Matthew Briggs, has been named captain of the Guyana Senior Men’s National Team ahead of their remaining CONCACAF Group F, FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
Briggs, who is signed to Vejle Boldklub in Denmark’s Superliga, the country’s highest league, first tasted International football for the Golden Jaguars in March of 2015 when he started against Grenada in Guyana’s 2 – 0 win at the Guyana National Stadium.
Since then, he has made 13 more appearances for the Golden Jaguars, while finding the net just once, doing so in Guyana’s 4 – 2 win over Antigua and Barbuda in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Guyana will play St Kitts and Nevis on June 4, followed by Puerto Rico on June 8. All matches will be played in St Kitts and Nevis.
In accepting his new role, Briggs said “it’s always been a dream of mine to captain a national team, so I am thoroughly excited to get this journey started and to see what the future holds. We’ve got two games coming up and I hope we all give 110 per cent, like I know we will. We’ve got all the capabilities to go and win both of these games.”
Briggs revealed the team’s excitement, noting that “going on the last camp, we didn’t perform to our full potential, which was disappointing for us, so we are excited to get into these two games now and put that right. We want to win both games. I look at both these games and I think we are favourites to win them. I think we will be the better team and we’ve got more than enough quality to win both of these games.”
Meanwhile, the team’s Head Coach, Marcio Maximo, said Briggs was a natural choice to lead the team because of the professional example he set to the other players during matches and away from the field of play.
President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, lauded former captain, Sam Cox, for leading Guyana with passion and dedication in recent years.
“Sam has been a great ambassador and warrior for Golden Jaguars. The whole nation is grateful for his service in leading Guyana to some of its greatest moments on the pitch, including reaching its first men’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2019,” Forde said.
The Golden Jaguars are currently in Antigua before departing for St. Kitts and Nevis on June 2 for their last two first-round matches.
After a 3-0 loss against Trinidad and Tobago and 4-0 win over the Bahamas in March, Guyana lies in third place in Group F and requires favourable results elsewhere to reach the second round. Only the top team from each group will progress.