GFF hosts club licensing workshop ahead of Elite League commencement

In a concentrated effort to prepare for the upcoming Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Elite League Season Six, General Secretary Ian Alves on Saturday hosted a club licensing workshop to share with the management of the ten Elite Clubs licensing criteria.
Among the attendees were presidents or secretaries of reigning league champions Guyana Defence Force, Guyana Police Force, Western Tigers, Den Amstel, Fruta Conquerors, Santos, Ann’s Grove and Buxton United. The workshop also welcomed representatives from the recently promoted Monedderlust and Slingerz football clubs.
“The GFF wants to ensure operational uniformity among elite clubs to foster the growth of the league and advancing player promotion. With established standards in place, clubs must ensure they are compliant as we continue to invest in professionalising the Elite League,” Alves told the fifteen participants.

A look at the participants of the Elite League club licensing workshop

He also provided a detailed account of the club licensing process, placing emphasis on compliance with established standards, from having a proficient management team with a shared vision, financial audits, a developmental strategy which includes the seamless execution of matches and focusing on the well-being of players.
“The clubs have been very receptive to the information shared. Fortunately, some of the clubs have been in the leagues for several years and have met the qualification for licensing. We continue to work with them and have also extended our support to recently promoted clubs Slingerz and Monedderlust, to ensure that all requirements are met.”
He added that the “target is that before we conclude the upcoming Elite League, all clubs will be at a position where they will be considered truly qualified for the club licensing.”

GFF General Secretary Ian Alves

GFF First Vice President Brigadier General (Ret) Bruce Lovell, in his opening statement, said the turnout signified a shared vision for the progress of professional football.
“Your attendance is proof that you support the GFF’s broader strategy to professionalize football. Our football in Guyana will not progress until we have a greater level of professionalism, until we approach football in a very professional manner in a collaborative manner.”
He stressed that licensing is also key to upholding and enhancing the standard of play and advancing the youth and female football programmes.
“Club licensing is not merely a regulatory measure, but a deliberate strategy to develop youth and female football. You have to have a youth programme, you have to have a female programme. Those are essential prerequisites for the club licensing regime.”
Meanwhile, Santos Football Club’s Frank Paris shared that “there is a lot of information that we probably thought we knew, but we didn’t know,” adding that licensing lets clubs know what they “need to be up to the level of a professional team.”
Treverlyn Johnson of the Monedderlust Football Club said the information shared at the workshop was invaluable. “I will definitely take it back to our club, making sure that team members understand how important…it is for a club to be licensed.”
The Elite League is set to start on February 25 at the National Training Centre in Providence, East Bank Demerara, under the newly installed FIFA-approved floodlights.
GFF President Wayne Forde’s administration continues to make substantial investments into the growth of club football, including the hosting of strategic training programmes to disseminate critical information to clubs, coaches, referees and players regarding the professionalisation of the game in Guyana.