The Senior Men’s National Team will be highly competitive against Trinidad and Tobago in the inaugural FIFA World Cup qualifying game in March and has a good chance of a surprise, according to Golden Jaguars Head Coach Marcio Maximo.
The Golden Jaguars will face Trinidad and Tobago away in Group F first-round Concacaf qualifying on March 25, followed by a home game against the Bahamas on March 29. The domestic squad currently trains five days a week at the Guyana Football Federation National Training Center, Providence.
“We have a good opportunity to give a surprise. Trinidad has a previous reputation as a World Cup participant, but nothing scares us. We know that a difficult challenge awaits us, but that encourages and motivates us to do better, ”said Maximo.
“We are going with a good prospect to do a surprise and we will be very competitive. You can’t predict victory, but what you can predict is a competitive game. Hopefully we make the most of this game. It’s not just Trinidad, the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Puerto Rico. The qualifying matches are not the start or finish with Trinidad so we should make a good start to motivate us for the rest of the qualifying matches, ”he added.
Only the winner of Group F will advance to the second of three rounds of qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Maximo said he was impressed by the level of commitment shown by the squad as players worked hard to regain fitness and secure a place in the final squad, after prolonged redundancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you train hard with intensity, tactical and technical discipline, and daily physical effort, that is reflected during the fight,” said a former U-20 and U-17 coach Brazil.
“With our local group, I can see a great development, given the commitment, intensity and knowledge. They grow in every training session. ”
The former coach of Tanzania, Cayman Islands and Livingston supported the GFF’s policy of providing more opportunities for domestic talent to break into the national squad, as well as bringing in the best overseas talent possible.
“Following the Federation’s policy, we need to give more local players the opportunity to be part of the group. International players are very important to us, with their experience, knowledge and tactical discipline, but together our group has to be realistic about the development of football in Guyana. ”
“Now more than 50 per cent of the players are Guyana-based, so we’re improving our local football as well as players’ hopes of getting involved and even going to international markets, especially the younger players . ”
Maximo, who worked with Brazilian stars Ronaldo and Ronaldinho during his time with the Brazilian set-up, said he could sense a growing interest and level of public support as the World Cup qualifiers get closer.
“When taking to the street, or taking a taxi, I see that people feel more interested in football. I see more people with more hope in the Golden Jaguars now, ”he said.