Olympic football squad starts encampment
... Major sponsor to be announced
By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
January 27, 2003

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THE Olympic football squad assembled yesterday to start preparing for the qualifying series to the 2004 Athens Games, with a major sponsor in the pipeline.

Addressing players at Palace de Leon where they are now encamped, president of the Guyana Football Federation, Colin Klass, disclosed that a major sponsor for the team would be announced during the course of the week.

Klass also said that the GFF was waiting on negotiations with two other sponsors to fund the team.

The GFF head told Chronicle Sport that the sponsorship materialised because a number of sponsors were satisfied with the work of new technical director Neider Dos Santos and the GFF in general.

“With that support, the technical and tactical expertise will be multiplied,” Klass told Chronicle Sport.

The GFF boss said the national governing body would give all the support possible to make the present team the best team ever.

“In return, players will have to give a 140 per cent effort in preparation and performance, so that all Guyana can be proud of them,” Klass said.

Klass told the players that to succeed, they have to have commitment, dedication, mental toughness and spiritual awareness. He also said that the hallmark would be discipline.

“The entire camp will be very competitive. No player’s place in the squad is (in local parlance) ‘dead sure’. There is room for the others not in the 26,” Klass said.

Klass pointed out that the four Lethem players had already indicated that they would not be returning to the Rupununi, thus it seemed that four others would be out from the coast. He also disclosed that Berbice was not satisfied that no player was in the squad and when the present line-up meet that sub-association on the field of play, the Berbicians signalled they would beat them.

“With that competitiveness, we expect our team to qualify,” Klass said.

GFF secretary George Rutherford delivered a code of conduct for the camp that touched on obligations to the game, the GFF and the team, and respect to Laws of the Game, opponents, match officials and supporters.

The code also focused on behaviour including code of dress and care of equipment.

Rutherford dealt with channels of communication between players and the team management and the GFF.

“No direct or unsolicited relationship with the media and outsiders should be entertained,” Rutherford instructed.

GFF treasurer Aubrey Henry disclosed that some $14 million was spent on the National Under-17 team and a greater amount was expected to be used on the Under-23 team because it would be a longer sojourn and accommodation had to be added to the expenses. In the past the GFF Buxton facility was used.

Technical director Dos Santos also made brief remarks, while GFF Competitions Coordinator Lawrence Griffith welcomed players. Player Konata Mannings moved the Vote of Thanks.

Five players did not turn up and the GFF will be making contact with them before trying to fill their places. The players are Devon Elias of Bartica, Orlando McLeod and Jonathan Peters of Camptown that were due to play in the Mayor’s Cup final, Sheik Kamal of Banks and Colin Jones of BV Triumph United.

The players will start their first session at the Turkeyen Campus ground at 05:30 hrs and continue at 16:00 hrs at the same venue.

On Saturday, the squad will be broken down to 26, thus four players will not continue. After then, the squad will play the teams from the various sub-associations, after which, some players could lose their place, while others will be included.

The first match will be against Berbice on February 9, with others planned for Upper Demerara, East Coast Demerara, West Demerara, and Essequibo. Bartica might be included.

A manager and another assistant coach (goalkeeping) will be announced today, to join Dos Santos, assistant coach Andrew Grogan and trainer Robin Phillips.

The management will meet the media on February 4, and after that fortnightly briefings will be held.

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