Shabazz returns to Guyana 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, announcing Shabazz's appointment as national team head coach.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – After a successful stint that saw him take Guyana to the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014, head coach Jamaal Shabazz departed in November 2012.

The Trinidadian, however, is set to lead the Golden Jaguars once again. 

At a Monday press conference, Clinton Urling, Chairman of the Guyana Football Federation Normalization Committee (NC), was joined by new technical director Claude Bolton, in announcing that Shabazz will be the head coach for Guyana’s friendly at Barbados on February 1.

The 51-year-old, 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.  The Canadian-based duo of defender Jamaal Smith and forward Emery Welshman have also earned invitations.

Additionally, the 26 locally-based competitors chosen 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, Vurlon Mills.

Training camp is set to commence on January 22.