Lady Jags head coach ‘goes hunting’ for more talent

first_img– Coach shares plans to prepare Guyana for knockout round of U-20 Women’s Qualifiers GUYANA topped Group A to advance to the Round-of-16 for the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships Qualifier tournament, in their quest to be one of the three confederation representatives at the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Nigeria. Guyana, in their first game, outclassed Bermuda 2 – 0, and would go on to defeat both Antigua and Barbuda, as well as St Lucia by the exact scoreline. In their final game of the tournament, Guyana defeated rivals Suriname 3 – 1 to maintain their perfect record and was the only team in Group A to concede only one goal.Dr Ivan Joseph – Lady Jags Head CoachJenea Knight (double against Bermuda), Tiandi Smith (St Lucia and Suriname) and Captain Brianne Desa (Antigua and Suriname) scored two goals each, while Tori DeNobrega (Suriname), Kiana Khedoo (Antigua) and Nailah Rowe (St Lucia) were the other players to find the net for the Lady Jags.However, despite the Guyanese women’s dominant display during their run in the four games played, Head Coach Dr Ivan Joseph was adamant that some changes will have to be made before the team can even think about advancing or to really contest for a spot at the U-20 World Cup.“We got two centre-backs that are not centre-backs; we have a centre-midfield converted and we have a centre-forward converted so we have to find two centre-backs. We also don’t have a natural goal-scorer…so we have to think about where [we] could find those level of players,” the Guyanese coach reasoned. Guyana’s Tiandi Smith (#6) caught by Chronicle Sport photographer Samuel Maughn as she was about to score the opening goal for the Lady Jags against Suriname on Sunday last. Guyana defeated Suriname 3 – 1.He further added that “then the last thing we have to think about is just making sure that the players that [are] based here (in Guyana), they have some rhythm and some reputation so that they don’t get left behind, because all the other players are going to go home and play about 30 games between now and the next time and have to find an opportunity for them to do the same.With most of the teams coming from North America, more specifically Canada, Dr Joseph pointed out the lack of women’s football being played in Guyana should not be an excuse to give the players who are locally based a chance to keep up, adding “the lack of local games will be a challenge, but those are the challenges when you’re in Guyana, so you can’t make excuses.”“Our job is to try and figure out where can these girls play on a U-14 Boys team? I know we’re saying that there’s no girl’s league (but) the United States make a habit of playing U-14 Boy’s teams all the time and that’s the number one team in the country, (so) there’s no reason why these ladies can’t play the same. So we have to work with the GFF to see how we could make that happen, because at the women’s level, they’re not going to get the games and the reputation and the games they need,” the Lady Jags’ head coach passionately told Chronicle Sport.Asked about what would be the ideal preparation for his ladies as they await the results from the other groups to determine the other teams in the Round-of-16, apart from of course playing some exhibition games, Dr Joseph explained that “all these players that are here are going to play on the same club team back in Canada; the ones that are based on the GTA and our assistant coach will stay with them at least once or twice a week. The rest of the players here will work with Coach Akilah (Castello), getting what we need.”last_img

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