Shabazz appointed Guyana head coach for Barbados friendly

Clinton Urling (left), chairman of the Guyana Football Federation Normalization Committee, Jamaal Shabazz (middle) and technical director Claude Bolton at a press conference on January 12, 2015 in Guyana, announcing Shabazz's appointment as national team head coach.
Tuesday 13 January 2015

Caledonia AIA technical director/head coach Jamaal Shabazz has made a return to the Guyana National Men’s Senior Team to serve as head coach for an upcoming friendly against Barbados on February 1.

At a Monday press conference, Clinton Urling, Chairman of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Normalization Committee (NC), was joined by new technical director Claude Bolton, in announcing Shabazz’s return for the Barbados friendly.

Urling said the move to bring back Shabazz, Guyana’s most successful coach, was necessary given the short timeframe the GFF Normalisation Committee had to act after receiving the invitation from the Barbados Football Association (BFA).

Shabazz, who had three stints as coach of the “Golden Jaguars” prior to Monday’s appointment, last coached the South American nation in 2012 following a successful stint that saw him take Guyana to the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014.

The 51-year-old Shabazz, an experienced exponent in the coaching arena, expressed his delight with the appointment and promised to work closely with Bolton in charting a solid foundation for the game.

He alluded to the fact that Guyana’s positive achievements in the past were as a result of collective work by his staff and not by any one individual.

“I appeal to all the factions in Guyana’s football that this is about players and the game has got to move on without the fighting and the animosity and the warring,” said a philosophical Shabazz, noting that the sport in Guyana is in the midst of a challenging period.

“FIFA has come in and made a decision and they have brought a leader to settle and place Guyana’s football in the rightful place.”

In response, Urling reminded those assembled that NC’s mantra is one of a united Guyana Football Federation.

“That’s the only way the sport can grow and move forward and we talk about not just the employees but everybody in this room including you the media,” he stressed. “Hopefully, we can lay a firm foundation as we move forward.”

The other members of the technical staff are Wayne Dover (assistant coach), Andrew Hazel (goalkeeper coach), Anson Ambrose (trainer), Trevor Burnette (equipment manager), Faizal Khan (manager of administration/commercial), Mark Xavier (manager of operations) and Debita Harripersaud (physio).

Shabazz also revealed that former captain and midfielder Chris Nurse, who plays with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, is available for selection against Barbados, while Canadian-based duo of defender Jamaal Smith and forward Emery Welshman have also earned invitations.

Additionally, 26 home-based footballers selected in a provisional squad are: O'Neil Carter, Oswald Cornett, Omallo Williams, Travis Henry, Solomon Austin, Kris Camacho, Quincy Madramootoo, Trevon Lythcott, Dwain Jacobs, Amos Ramsey, Daniel Wilson, Keron Solomon, Sheldon Holder, Clive Nobrega, Colin Nelson, Dwight Peters, Tishard Joseph, Dwayne Lawrence, Domini Garnett, Travis Hillman, Rawle Gittens, Denver Dennis, Calvin Sheppard, Joshua Brown, Eusi Phillips and Vurlon Mills.

Training camp is set to commence on January 22 before the squad is trimmed to 18 a few days prior to jetting off to Barbados.