GFF head foresees 2-year timeline for NTC completion

The National Training Centre (NTC) at Providence, East Bank Demerara, which has been an ongoing project of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), saw its first official games being played on the AstroTurf surface on Saturday. Guyana Times Sport spoke with GFF President, Wayne Forde, who gave a two-year timeline for the completion of the facility.
After a first look at the Under-15 payers on the recently laid AstroTurf, the Guyana Football Federation President is pleased about the development and the change that the National Training Centre will bring to Guyanese football.
“Well I think all of Guyana’s football will be happy and pleased with what has taken place here today. We all know that the nation has been holding it’s breathe for several decades, so this is a historical moment for football. More so, the players that would have had the opportunity to play the first game on the venue. We understand the importance of having a home for football in Guyana. And in the not so distant future we’ll see the benefits of being able to play consistently on a high-quality pitch,” Forde explained.
In his assessment of the morning session of the Frank Watson U15 tournament which is currently ongoing at the venue, Forde stated that he has noticed that the players are already adjusting to the new conditions.
Moving on to phase two of the facility, the GFF head detailed the aspects that will be focused on next.
“Well the second, will include the lighting, the stands and the dorms. Because those three facilities have a direct impact on the national team project that we want to run.”
He emphasised on the need to get this done in a timely manner, so that the facility will be able to cater to the needs of the youth players.
“One of the key pillars of the national team programme that we want to run, is we want to have our youth teams and senior teams in contact with the coaches as often as possible. We want to have them playing as often as possible,”
In an example of this, Forde explained that a currently existing building within the facility’s compound will be transformed into dorms, so as to cater for the youth teams that will be encamped this year.
As such, the Forde has given an estimate of two to two and a half years for the completion of the facility. He also shared his vision for the training centre.
“The concept is that when you walk into the facility, you see a really nice mini stadium but within the facility there’s the gyms, the pools and everything we need to really develop high-quality athletes. So it’s taking a little bit of architectural genius to find the balance and come up with the final product,” Forde explained.
Setting his sights on the future of Guyana’s football, the GFF boss disclosed that it is his wish to have a similar AstroTurf facility in every regional member association.
“There are other massive infrastructure projects that will be announced, some of them in a matter if days and others over the next couple of weeks. But the idea is to have one of these venues in every association. Not to the level of engineering that will go into this one, but an artificial turf with all the basic amenities so that the association can conduct consistent development programmes and football at the venue that will be their home within their respective association,” he said.