They have moved ahead of Trinidad and Tobago in the latest FIFA rankings and now Guyana ‘s Senior footballers are intent of upsetting the “Soca Warriors” on their own turf when both teams clash at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium next Thursday in Group F action of the Digicel Caribbean Cup.
The Guyanese are now 98th on the rankings, ahead of T&T which slipped to 106. According to Guyana captain Howard Lowe, the “Golden Jaguars” are capable of producing the spoils. Both teams drew 1-1 in Georgetown a few weeks ago.
“We are confident of reaching the finals, but we will be taking one game at a time. I think our success in Suriname was based on the team playing to instructions and the high level of discipline that is within the team. This team understands what it is we are striving to achieve and so the focus is very much on the ball. We want to win all our matches and prove that we can compete with the best.” Lowe said after a training session on Thursday.
The skipper dismissed any fear for the opponents in the second round citing the Guyanese side as one with lots of professional attitude and experience.
Assistant coach Collie Herculies who played in the T&T Pro League in the past, also echoed the same sentiments,
“We have a bunch of talented players and I see no reason why we can’t qualify for the final”.
The former national forward who scored 14 times while playing close to 30 games for Guyana says he is enjoying his new role and is seeing the game from a different perspective.
“It’s all about imparting and sharing that which I have acquired over the years as a player. I see this as a good opportunity to further advance my football career, and more importantly to give back to my country,” he added.
T&T meantime are expected to have their quota of overseas pros in the mix from Saturday with Puerto Rico Islanders duo Kendall Jagdeosingh and Keon Daniel scheduled to arrive at the live-in camp at Crowne Plaza.
Meantime, midfielder Shahdon Winchester, hoping to break into the first team, described his recent trial in Ukraine as another beneficial experience.
“It’s good because we got to see exactly how they treat the game as professionals and in an European environment where football is everything for the people,” Winchester said. He was accompanied by fellow Connection teammate Hughtun Hector.
“I think the experience is valuable because it prepares us for bigger challenges and we’re now looking to make a contribution during the Digicel Caribbean Cup. We have the firepower to beat these teams and we want to get the job done without much problems,” he added.
And in related news, injured Defence Force winger Kevon Carter is wishing his teammates a successful and injury-free campaign in the regional tournament.
“I’ll be backing them all the way. Sadly I cannot be part of the team but I have accepted God’s decision to keep me out and I also forgive the player who committed the tackle that led to my injury. My focus now is rehab and the doctors say I should be able to play again in just over six months so by the time the Gold Cup comes around I should be playing to allow the coach to assess me for selection again,” said Carter.
“I believe the boys can do it. They have been working hard and there is a strong will to be successful in this tournament,” he ended. T&T faces St Vincent and the Grenadines from 7:30 pm in their first outing on Tuesday with Guyana facing 2007 champions Haiti from 5pm at the Marabella venue.