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“Project 100” kicks off in Rio

first_imgThe Guyana Football Federation (GFF) this year made a promise to all Guyanese that come 2026 they would be able to cheer for their home team at the FIFA World Cup.The Golden Jaguars go through their first warm-up sessionAs such, the Federation is currently putting plans into place which would allow for that dream to become a reality, beginning with qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup for which the Caribbean Nations League is the gateway. The first of those plans is “Project 100”, which began on Monday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Project 100 – according to newly-appointed Head Coach Michael Johnson, who is leading the biggest technical staff ever put together in the history of the GFF – aims to break into the FIFA top 100 rankings.The core of the player pool is Guyana-based and mostly Under-23 players, as the focus of this new project is to give the young players an opportunity to show that they have what it takes to be a part of this programme, Johnson stated.Some technical work being done prior to session two“This Project 100 is pretty simple: while we are here, we have a lot of young players who are given an opportunity to try and be involved in the qualification campaign for the CONCACAF Gold Cup starting in September. So, this is a great chance for them to showcase themselves and to show that they really mean business.”The former Jamaican national player noted that this is not just a camp to improve players. “It’s a camp that we’re saying to them, ‘go and make yourself visible, make yourself known to the staff that you are capable of meeting the demands necessary to go and play or be part of this squad, come September.”Johnson reiterated that it’s an opportunity for the U-23s. “Let’s have a look at them, let’s see which ones are capable of stepping up, not just on the field, also off it.”The programme here in Rio at the Estadio Municipal Jose Maria De Brito Barros would be intense, Johnson posited, referring to the fact that Monday saw the players being involved in three sessions, two on the field (morning and afternoon) and one classroom session Monday evening at the team hotel.“There’ll be down time, of course, we can’t go at this pace all the time, but what we wanted to showcase from the very first stage is that we are here to work; yes we want to have fun at the same time, but we want to be doing things the right and proper way. That means we want to take them out of their comfort zone, we want to make them uncomfortable and see how they handle the training. We’ve also got some interesting runs for them just to see the character of them without the ball. So this camp is really about challenging them physically, mentally, tactically, and technically,” he noted.The first day’s session was summed up by Johnson: “I think it was really good for us to get an insight into some of the players, the staff as well, the intensity and what they want to play at; they’re a good group. What we’ve seen today is that they’re an honest group: they gave you everything; technically they are ok and also physically, you know the players can move. I think where we really need to work is tactically and that’s why we did a session this afternoon based upon where should you be when somebody’s got the ball, what’s your movements off the ball, how do you receive it.”The Head Coach believes that if significant gains were made without the players having the ball; composure; technical ability and physicality, which some of the players already have, Guyana can be in an interesting place in the next few years.The sessions continued on Tuesday with a game between the players as they prepared themselves for the first of several matches in Rio de Janeiro.last_img read more