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Guyana to rely on youth for St. Lucia friendly
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(ABOVE) Guyana head coach Jamaal Shabazz (center) provides instruction during a national team training session on March 16, 2015.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- A mixture of local and overseas under-23 players will be lining up at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday, when Guyana hosts St. Lucia in an international friendly.

The roster information was shared by head coach Jamaal Shabazz, who also disclosed that the Golden Jaguars will field a more veteran side against Grenada one week later at the same venue, since that encounter falls within a FIFA window.

“We try to focus on giving some younger players some caps and international exposure in the St. Lucia game along with the locally based players because we want to widen the pool,” said Shabazz.  “And then the following week when we play Grenada, we play more the foreign based players with a few locals.  We would have gotten to see as wide a group as possible before we make a final decision when it comes to the World Cup Qualifiers.”

While he is very eager to toss the younger players onto the international stage, Shabazz believes it is important Caribbean nations playing against each other.

“It’s the only way we can develop, by training and by testing our training in games and by using the money that FIFA has given for our own development,” the 51-year-old noted.  “You can have development programs for ten years.  If you don’t test it with matches nothing will be known.”

The North American-based duo of midfielder Brandon Beresford (22) and Jamaal Smith (27) have linked up with the squad.

 
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