When Guyana finally qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time in the country’s football history on March 23, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde promised that the Federation would do everything within its power to ensure that the senior men’s national team, the Golden Jags, are ready for the biggest games of their lives.
With just a month before the Golden Jags take to the Allianz Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota for their first game against the USA on June 18, Forde disclosed that the Federation has made good on its promise and to this end, revealed some of the plans for the national team.
At the moment, the biggest announcement is the Federation’s collaboration with sport gear company Capelli Sport. The company specialises in the production of top-quality football apparel, inclusive of uniforms, shoes, bags and balls.
Although the Federation still has some kinks to work out with the well-established company, the GFF President prematurely announced the collaboration, which entails the company producing Guyana’s Gold Cup uniform.
“We’re still working out the pieces of the final agreement with Capelli Sports, but no doubt there’s a commitment on both parts for an agreement and we will announce some of the key details once the dotted lines are signed off,” Forde said.
Hinting at continuous conversations with the apparel company, Forde was confident that the GFF already has a solid relationship with Capelli Sport.
“We believe that we have been able to establish a remarkable working relationship with Capelli Sports; the fact that they’re here displaying some of their products, interacting with some of the other members and engaging with the local football fraternity, is a demonstration off their commitment to working with the GFF,” he said.
As such, the GFF boss revealed that an official announcement with added information about the deal would be done soon.
“We’re very pleased so far with all of the engagements we’ve been having with Capelli Sport and we look forward to a fruitful couple of years. We will make the final announcement on the deal in one week’s time,” he stated.
Now focusing on Gold Cup preparations, it was confirmed that the Golden Jaguars will be playing an international friendly before they get to the tournament.
“We already have one international game locked in. One of the countries that we’re likely to be playing for the second international game is here (at the FIFA Conference) so we’ll be having those discussions on the margins of the Conference,” Forde shared.
However, a Guyana-based camp looks dismal at the moment and Forde was not shy in sharing the reason for this.
“The preparation plan as it is, sees us doing a camp in New Jersey, flying to another country, playing a game and then to Minneapolis. So, we have abandoned the idea of doing the home camp, because we couldn’t find a worthy opponent that is willing to absorb the cost to travel this way for a game,” the GFF President said.
He had cited limited resources as the reason for other CONCACAF nations being sceptical about travelling for friendlies.
Being drawn in Group D, the Golden Jaguars will have to battle with Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America in the preliminary stage of the Gold Cup.
The boys hailing from the “Land of Many Waters” will play their first game on June 18 in Minneapolis, against hosts USA. Their second game will be on June 22 with a match-up against Panama in Cleveland, Ohio. Their final game will be against Caribbean counterparts and long-time rivals Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City, Kansas. (Jemima Holmes)