Clinton Urling (left), chairman of the Guyana Football Federation Normalization Committee (NC), shakes hands with new technical director Claude Bolton on January 10, 2015.
GEORGETON, Guyana -- With the primary aim of developing an appropriate technical and tactical foundation for its football, the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) announced Saturday that Claude Bolton has been appointed as technical director.
Making the announcement at a press conference at the GFF Headquarters was Clinton Urling, chairman of the GFF Normalization Committee (NC).
Bolton, who served in a similar capacity at the GFF from 2000-2001, is a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) with more than 15 years of professional coaching and technical experience. He holds a United States Soccer Federation National “A” License, a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “B” License and an English Football Association International Coaching License.
In his introductory remarks, the former Regional Youth Head Coach of Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps expressed gratitude to the NC for affording him the opportunity of serving Guyana’s football.
“I’m humbled and quite proud to be able to have this opportunity,” said Bolton, who signed a four-year contract. “We still haven’t tapped where we can go as a country. Many people here understand football to be a tool of social development and very clearly can be.
“What we’ve been able to accomplish in that short time, when Mr. Shabazz was the head coach, only gives us a glimpse of where we could go with a sustained program of development and together I think with football, the government, people of Guyana, the media, great things are on the horizon for Guyana.”
Bolton was quick to remark that there must be a long-term plan, with all stakeholders on board, to ensure holistic development.
“The NC was clear in this regard and was also pellucid on what the mandate would be for me, the program and the people involved, making sure we have checks and balances as we go,” he stressed.
Using FIFA guidelines, which speak to the role and responsibilities of the technical director, Urling highlighted that Bolton would be primarily guided by four specific pillars:
1. Football for all, mass football;
2. Coaches’ education;
3. Elite football;
4. Research in football topics.
Urling noted that football for all and coaches’ education would be the main priority for Bolton, the main architect of Guyana‘s football plan.
“All the coaches would fall under the Technical Department and by extension the TD,” Urling commented. “According to FIFA, the National Technical Director cannot, under any circumstances, also be the national team coach and there’s a clear distinction between national coach and TD.”
Urling pointed out that the success of the TD would not be determined by how far the Golden Jaguars advance in World Cup Qualifying, “We’ll be judging him based on how he implements the developmental program for the GFF.”
The first order of business for Bolton will be to create a short-term plan for 2015 and also a longer term development plan for either four or eight years.