Attitude, discipline, performance – instrumental in squad selection
CONCACAF Nations League Qualifier…
With just four days left before Guyana take to the Leonora Track and Field Centre to contest their most important football match to date against Belize, Head Coach Michael Johnson recently revealed a 23-man final squad for game day.
The squad, comprising three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders and six forwards, is a combination of locals and overseas-based players, with the international players being the majority.
Despite the imbalance, Head Coach Johnson is of the opinion that the best possible team have been put together.
“Probably one of the strongest, if not the strongest team Guyana has ever got together. So we’re in a good place, the mood in the camp is tremendous,” Johnson stated.
More importantly, the team have seen the addition of three debutantes in Reiss Greenidge, Anthony Jeffery and Keanu Marsh Brown. The three who are said to have a wealth of experience are all elated to join the Guyanese outfit and shared similar sentiments, with Greenidge noting that he is excited for game day.
“I’m excited obviously; it’s a good opportunity to get the team into the Gold Cup and I’m just happy to be selected, happy to have the opportunity to help the country. It’s my first time in Guyana, but I’ve been here for a day and it’s great,” Greenidge said.
Speaking to the composition of the team, Head Coach Johnson explained that selection was very thorough, and he clarified some of the areas which were instrumental in keeping a few locals out of the squad.
“Well, we’ve talked to Wilson and Charles not just about how they play or how they were for the past seven weeks in the camp; it’s about your attitude, your discipline towards training, the way you conduct yourself as well as your performance.
“The last few weeks, the game itself, the staff discussions and then we came to a process where we eliminated unfortunately, players that might count themselves unlucky to be left out of the final 23,” Johnson said.
Aside from the new faces, Warren Creavalle, Emery Welshman, Samuel Cox, Walter Moore and Gregory “Jackie Chan” Richardson have returned to the team.
“Jackie Chan”, who is popularly known for his heroics on the football field, spent some time out of the Guyanese national team, but has returned with a bang and according to Coach Johnson, Richardson is an excellent addition.
“It’s been fascinating listening to his story. He recognises that this is his final chapter of his career as a footballer and it’s such a fitting way for him to give back to the country,” Johnson said.
While detailing ways in which Richardson’s presence will improve the team structure, Johnson disclosed that he expects the 36-year-old to make the best of his time on the field.
“One of the country’s finest players, I’m aware, and I knew he would play a pivotal part in the changing rooms in the build-up with the youngsters. And I can see this chapter being ended on a high note,” Johnson explained.
The remainder of the squad reads Alex Murray, Axel Clarke, Sese Norville, Elliot Bonds, Terrence Vancooten, Ronayne Marsh-Browne, Kevin Layne, Neil Danns, Trayon Bobb, Kadell Daniel, Clive Nobrega, Stephen Duke- McKenna, Pernell Schultz, Marcel Barrington, and Sheldon Holder.