GFF makes historic visit to Coomacka FC

…Federation pledges to advance the game holistically

In observance of Amerindian Heritage Month 2020, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, on Sunday last paid a historic visit to the village of Coomacka, which is some 15 miles from the Region 10 capital of Linden, and presented the Coomacka United Football Club with football equipment that included footballs, boots, bibs and cones.
The GFF President and team, which included the President of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA), Terrence Mitchell; former National Coach Jimmy McLean; former Golden Jaguar Anthony “Awo” Abrams; current Assistant Senior National Coach, Charles “Lily” Pollard; and GFF Youth Development Officer and former national player, Bryan “Joe Boy” Joseph, was warmly welcomed by President of the Coomacka United Football Club (CUFC), Renison ‘Suki’ Rawlins.
During the visit, possibly a first for a serving GFF President, Forde commended the club for its spirited performances on the field of play and its strong showing in tournaments organised by the UDFA.
In response, the GFF President and executive committee were lauded for the outstanding job they have been doing in advancing the fortunes of the CUFC, as well as being able to mobilise great fan support whenever the team is competing.
In thanking the club and community for their warm welcome, the GFF Head underscored the role of that body: “Our core purpose is to serve football and to serve the stakeholders of football. We’re here to listen and to see the opportunity where we can intervene and improve things, to improve a situation from where it might be to where it can be.”
Reminiscing on the semi-finals of the last UDFA year-end tournament, Forde said he had witnessed one of the most electrifying atmospheres he had ever experienced in recent years.
“The excitement and the involvement of the community in the game was a very memorable experience. I was immediately moved by it, and I started to make some enquires as to what is responsible for this club, which seems to be in a bit of a community bubble but yet kept coming out and competing as well as they did against some of the more established clubs in Linden.”
He went on to disclose that the answer was no surprise to him: “It’s just the spirit that people bring to the game! The spirit and passion that really drive football forward! So, we are here today to do exactly what the GFF was conceived to do when it was formed in 1909, and that is: to serve the members.”
An impassioned Forde said the equipment donated would serve to further enhance and develop the game in the community, while also entice new players to come on board by motivating them to play.
UDFA President Mitchell, in making known his pride in the CUFC and its exploits to date, said he was very privileged to be visiting the community of Coomacka. He noted that the club became registered with the UDFA just over two years ago, even though it had been around for a longer period of time.
He explained that after a quiet start to competitive play under the umbrella of the UDFA, the CUFA team has been coming on strong, qualifying for the last two finals of tournaments held, including the Mash Cup 2020.
“Linden started to see a new, talented team in the form of the CUFC. We saw young men with speed, and fans very animated and vocal. So, Coomacka made that impact into football in a short space of time, and what we saw, we see a long future for football in the area,” Mitchell said.
The UDFA President also commended the Coomacka fans for their support of the team, noting that the CUFC has a dynamic support cast.
“When they come out to support at the Mackenzie Sports Club, they take up half the stands; and that is good, we love that. So, to the supporters, to the executive, to the players: keep doing what you are doing, and do even more and push to be the number one club in Linden. Don’t stop at Linden, be the number one club in the country,” he advised.
President Rawlins, in his remarks, thanked the GFF for showing great interest in the club even at this time, noting that the club has been putting in a lot of work to reach where it presently is.
“Our club is doing good so far, and we will try our best with the inputs into our club, so that we can climb higher and reach the number one spot in Linden. That’s what we are aiming for!” he declared.
Following the presentation of equipment, stakeholders engaged President Forde in a brief question-and-answer session, in which they posed questions about further plans for their development and received appropriate answers.
Treasurer of the CUFC, MS. Stacey-Ann Williams, in delivering the vote of thanks, pledged that the CUFC would work along closely with the UDFA and GFF to realise the dreams of the youths in the community.