Santos, Pouderoyen focused on the gold

KFC “Independence Cup”

Come Saturday June 15, fourteen local teams will begin their bid to become the inaugural KFC ‘Independence Cup’ champions. For the management of two of those teams, this Under 20 tournament and the opportunity it presents is integral to the progression of the team and its players.
The Under 20 tournament which is being sponsored by the fast food giants KFC, in collaboration with the Guyana Football Federation, seeks to fill a gap between youth football and the senior stage.
For Santos FC, the runner ups in the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) leg of the Intra- Association competition, the team will now be focusing on producing a stronger team for this week’s game against Pouderoyen FC.
Santons went down to eventual Georgetown Champions Fruta Conquerors in the final and this for Coach Earl Paul was a clear indicator that the team needs to put in more work.
“Training hard. In the first round our senior players weren’t coming out and train and they need to do so,” Paul explained.
He went on to explain the peculiar position the team was in during those initial rounds. “In our list, we have six more spaces and if we got our players to register, we would have had a stronger team. We had to use some of our Under 15 players because at the time, they were training. Against Conquerors we had a weaker team but we still gave them a fight.”
However, Paul intends to turn that situation around as they prepare to take on Pouderoyen in the Intra- Association leg of the competition.
“In this round we will have a stronger team that can compete with anybody to win the tournament,” he said.
In order to do so, Paul is of the opinion that rigorous training will whip the players into shape.
“This week we’re going to put in some fitness work and be ready for Saturday or Sunday, whenever is our game.”
On the other hand, Pouderoyen FC’s coach, Adio Wright, has a similar formula for success and shared that his team has also been putting in the practice work to achieve their goals.
“We’re training and practicing a lot. We had a lot of sessions night and day,” Wright said.
After holding Den Amstel to a stalemate during regulation time of the West Demerara Football Association final, Pouderoyen went on to defeat their opponent 5-4 at the penalty mark. For Pouderoyen FC, that win was an indication of the potential that the Club holds and as such they are excited about what the future holds.
“The guys are very enthusiastic about the future and we set our tone from the beginning of this competition. We already achieved one goal, the next goal is to win this entire tournament and make a name for our self and our association,”
The upbeat coach also expressed international aspirations for his group of promising players. “We think that our players deserve a chance to be on the national teams and this is a great opportunity to make that point clear.”
Wright also had positive things to say about the nature of the tournament, stating: “It is very important for the youths because our club base is mostly focused on youths and it is very good for development. It is good for them to move from one stage to another and to get the opportunity to play football in all parts of the country against the best.”
The Intra- Association action will kick off on Saturday, June 15 and the final is scheduled for July 1, 2019 at the GFF’s National Training Center, Providence.
In the upcoming weekend, Timehri Panthers will come up against Soesdyke Falcons FC in the first encounter. New Amsterdam United will take on Amelia’s Ward Falcons while Botofago FC battle Den Amstel. Potaro Strikers will go toe to toe with Dynamic FC and Fruta Conquerors will face off with Cougars FC. Buxton United are slated to battle Queenstown United FC and Pouderoyen FC will take on Santos FC. (Jemima Holmes)