Home Sports ‘NAMILCO Flour Power’ National U17 team kick-starts preparations
CONCACAF U-17 Championships
…Team placed in Group G due to higher ranking attained
Guyana has begun preparations to participate in the 2019 CONCACAF Under-17 Championships scheduled for the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Florida in May 2019. A provisional squad is in training, and will continue to have weekly sessions at the GFF National Training Centre under the guidance of the GFF’s Technical Department. Additional players will be added following scouting in the GFF-NAMILCO Thunderbolt Flour Power National U17 Tournament, scheduled to commence shortly.
The squad, known as the “NAMILCO Flour Power National U17” team, has been placed in Group G with El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti; and its seeding is a direct result of Guyana’s upward movement in the CONCACAF Men’s U17 rankings to 18th position.
In an invited comment, GFF’s Youth Development Officer, Bryan Joseph, said the upward movement in the ranking is testimony to the investment made in the youth programme.
“We are pleased with the upward movement in the rankings, since it is testimony to all the hard work the Federation has put in place over the past two years with the junior national teams. We’ve managed to play quite a bit of junior games against our Caribbean counterparts, and have produced good results at both U15 and U17 levels. We are elated that the structure has produced all these positives as we continue to strengthen and reinforce it with all our ongoing and new programmes,” he said.
Commenting on the expected increased competition as a result of the movement, Joseph said it’s a welcome challenge.
“We are happy to face these challenges. This comes with the territory. We’ve discussed how we want to proceed against those teams, and we are not daunted by their status. We will learn a lot about what is required to attain success at this level, so we see it purely as a win/win situation for Guyana’s football. The technical planners are all convinced that we can and will make it to the knockout stage of the tournament, then upset the status quo in the latter stages,” he revealed.
Guyana’s match schedule is as follows: May 1 – El Salvador vs Guyana; May 3 – Guyana vs Honduras; and May 5 – Guyana vs Haiti.
According to CONCACAF, the Final Championship will begin with a group stage in which the top-ranked 16 participating teams, based on the CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Ranking as of May 2017, will be divided into four groups. After round-robin play, the top three finishers in each of the groups will join the winners of Groups A, B, C and D from the qualifiers in the round of 16.
The knockout stage of the competition – round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final – will be played in its entirety in a single match elimination format, with the semifinalists automatically qualifying for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.
The participating Member Associations for the 2019 CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, and US Virgin Islands.