Goal­keeper Ge­orge lone lo­cal player on ‘Lady Jags’ Olympic team

Stabroek News - - STARBROEK SPORT -

Goal­keeper Ruth Ge­orge is the lone lo­cal player among the 19 se­lected to com­pete in next month’s Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Olympic Qual­i­fiers in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, the fi­nal squad to travel to the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic was se­lected yesterday by head coach Mark Ro­drigues.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, Ro­drigues has se­lected play­ers from the 2010 Gold Cup squad and from 2012 U20 squad.

Most of the play­ers are from the United States of Amer­ica, Canada and the United King­dom.

The Lady Jags will face off against St Kitts/ Ne­vis on Au­gust 21 and Cuba on Au­gust 23.

The fi­nal squad was ar­rived at fol­low­ing “a rig­or­ous one- week train­ing camp that wrapped up last week­end,” the re­lease stated adding that Ro­drigues will now turn his at­ten­tion to see­ing the Guyana team ad­vance from their group in an ef­fort to be­come the first Guyana team to com­pete at the Olympic Games.

Ash­ley Ro­drigues has re­tained the cap­taincy po­si­tion while other mem­bers of the team are Kayla and Bri­ana Dec Souza, Ashlee Savona, Calaigh Copeland, Ote­sha Charles, Mariam El-Masri, Olivia Gon­salves, Ali­son Hey­dorn, Kai­ley Leila, Chan­tal Lynch, Kelly PelzBut­ler, Brit­tany Per­saud, Leah- Marie Ra­malho, Justine Ro­drigues, Mar­tyne Alphonso, De­ri­enne Busby and Chante San­di­ford.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, Ro­drigues said he was ex­cited to have a wide pool of play­ers to se­lect from.

“It was also great to see the de­vel­op­men­tal ma­tu­rity of our play­ers af­ter such a long lay­off, and see the U20’s step up to fight and earn spots,” he de­clared.

“This is a much more ex­pe­ri­enced squad than 2010, but we must re­mem­ber that other coun­tries have also been de­vel­op­ing their fe­male play­ers, while also reach­ing out to their Di­as­po­ras for higher level play­ers, so we do not know what to ex­pect from our com­pe­ti­tion un­til game day,” he added. The fi­nal 19-mem­ber Lady Jags football team which will par­tic­i­pate in Group Four of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Olympic Qual­i­fiers next month in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic. (Photo cour­tesy of the Guyana Football Fed­er­a­tion)

Ro­drigues feels that the fo­cus now will be on what Guyana will dis­play on the field with the in­ten­tion and hope of dic­tat­ing the game.

“We have adopted and trained in a new sys­tem of play that’s very ex­cit­ing and adapt­able to what­ever our op­po­nents may bring to the field. The play­ers’ pro­ce­dural mem­ory was ex­hausted at the end of the camp. That was part of the camp’s train­ing plan, so that when we kick start that part of the brain on Au­gust 20 ( train­ing - the day be­fore the first game), their trig­gers will ig­nite and get us as close to peak men­tal and phys­i­cal per­for­mance as pos­si­ble early in the game,” Ro­drigues noted.

In the ab­sence of an In­ter­na­tion­ally friendly, The ‘Lady Jags’ re­sorted to play­ing a Georgetown U17 boys team and the Dickel School’s Football Na­tional Cham­pi­ons Chris­tians­burg/ Wis­mar Sec­ondary and de­spite be­ing out mus­cled in the two scrim­mages, Ro­drigues at­trib­uted his team se­lec­tion to how the play­ers re­ac­tion dur­ing the two con­test and the con­tri- bu­tion to the team dur­ing en­camp­ment, the re­lease stated.

The Head Coach says that he wel­comes the high ex­pec­ta­tion of the team, not­ing “the team has em­braced the fact that ev­ery­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions are based on our achieve­ments in 2010 and right­fully so. It was a great, his­tor­i­cal achieve­ment for Guyana Football”

He added how­ever “while it’s great to re­flect and re­joice on the past and the lega­cies cre­ated and set back then, we must now first and fore­most re­main fo­cused on what we have to do on Au­gust 21 and 23, and that is to win our group to ad­vance.

The Squad: Ash­ley Ro­drigues (Cap­tain) Kayla De Souza, Bri­ana De Souza, Ashlee Savona, Caleigh Copeland, Odisha Charles, Mariam El-Mari, Olivia Gon­za­les, Ali­son Hay­don, Kai­ley Leila, Chan­tal Lynch, Kelly Peels- But­ler, Brit­tany Per­suade, Leah- Marie Ramah, Justine Ro­drigues, Mar­tine Alphonso, Adri­enne Busby, Ruth Ge­orge and Chanted Sandy­ford.

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