(ABOVE) Jamaal Shabazz (second from right) signs a contract to become the Guyana head coach on March 4, 2015.
GEORGETOWN , Guyana -- Football development in Guyana took another positive step forward when former head coach Jamaal Shabazz and assistant Wayne Dover each inked two-year contracts with the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Normalization Committee (NC) on Wednesday.
The duo will work side by side with the national and under-23 teams as they prepare for 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Football Tournament qualifying.
Shabazz, who was at the interim helm for Guyana’s international friendly last month against Barbados that ended in a 2-2 draw, will lead the squad on a permanent basis for a third time. The Trinidadian previously held similar positions with the GFF from 2005–2008 and 2011–2012 with Dover also assisting during those stints.
Clinton Urling, chairman of the GFF NC, noted that the Barbados match presented an opportunity to assess Shabazz’s performance as head coach and to obtain feedback from the players who participated in the game.
Shabazz said he is satisfied and confident that he has made the right decision to return to Guyana.
“For me, it’s always an exciting moment to pick up a new challenge,” the 51-year-old remarked. “One of the things coach Dover and I have discussed is that we are happy for the work we have done in the past, but we are now ready to move on. Now is a new time, a feeling of desire and need and feeling to accomplish new things and try to push the program further than it went before.”
Noting that challenges are to be expected, the duo have two years to work with technical director Claude Bolton and other coaches on a united front.
“This is a new era,” said Dover. “Always, as a coach, you have to look forward to the new stint that you are embarking on. I will do my best in helping this nation.”
The first task will be to name a squad for the March 22 friendly against visiting St. Lucia, which will be played at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence. Shabazz stated that squad will be named by the middle of next week.