Kudos to Under-19 female football team
Stabroek News
January 31, 2002

Dear Editor,

It was with great jubilation I read about the good job done by the National Under 19 Women s football team at the recent CONCACAF competition. I was one of a few handful of persons who visited, gave encouragement and even left Georgetown to watch them at practise sessions. I saw them in action against the East Coast senior female team and the Buxton Under 17 male team. Even though they did not win any of those warm up matches one could see the determination of these young women to give of their best. Of course, we did not qualify for the final, but it showed that with greater application and the right technical personnel in place this young team could go far. As was evident in their performance, they improved with each game they played losing 7 1 to Suriname, 3 1 to Antigua and then went on to win their last game 3 0 against Dominica.

I was amazed by the negative attitude of Mr Gerald Laurie, but even moreso our Minister of Sports Ms Gail Teixeira, who had exhorted the GFF/Kashif & Shanghai organisation during her opening remarks at the 1999 tournament, to promote women's football in Guyana. I would think that they would have thrown their weight behind this young team, encouraging them to give of their best and be good ambassadors for our country.

I was impressed by the young ladies who were selected from Linden, Georgetown, Kwakwani and the Rupununi.

At one point it seemed as if three of the seven young ladies from Rupununi would not be able to make the tour. They all cried together.

I was really pleased when I realised that all the young ladies were able to travel.

I was told that without the help of the Minister of Amerindian Affairs Ms Caroline Rodrigues, Mr Roy McArthur and Mr Harold D'Aguiar of Lethem nothing would have been possible. These persons pulled out all the stops to ensure that the young ladies got all the necessary travel documents that enabled them to make the trip, since they were told that the three were some of the better players of the team.

It was quite disappointing to me that the executive members of the GFF did not see it fit to be present at the warm up matches. It made me wonder if they too did not have confidence in this young team. I do hope that they take the necessary steps to keep these young ladies together as they have promised to do. Do not let it be just empty promises as has been seen with the Under-17 male team who played in the World Cup preliminary round hosted by Guyana in 2000. Since then they have not been encamped even for a weekend. So much for promises.

Yours faithfully,

Wilfrey Wellington