‘GFF Road to Portugal’…Officials solicit support in developmental bid of U-17 footballers
By Michael Benjamin, Aug 23, 2016, , http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....of-u-17-footballers/
Eighteen of the nation’s top U-17 footballers have been spotlighted to travel to Portugal as officials of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) officially launched its ‘Road to Portugal’ campaign to be held in Aviero, Portugal from October 10-23. The footballers will be accompanied by seven officials and two teachers. Members of the latter group will also work along with the young footballers to keep them up to date with their academic studies so they could resume their school curriculum upon their return to Guyana.
This much was revealed by President of the GFF, Wayne Forde when Kaieteur News spoke with him yesterday afternoon. He said that the initiative was officially launched last week and will be under the auspices of the ‘We Believe Football Academy’ in Portugal.
Countries from some of the most powerful football nations are expected to be at the forum including those from South America, Central America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Mr. Forde said that he was especially delighted by the turn of events especially since the initiative will strengthen the efforts of his executives to place greater emphasis on the all-round development of the young ball weavers. “The trip will achieve a bifurcated objective including the developmental aspect of the sport while the youngsters can take full advantage of the presence of (football) scouts who will be on the lookout for special talent,” he said.
Forde also feels that the footballers would benefit immensely from the interaction with top class players and the accompanying coaches could take advantage of the professional coaching strategies while also building capacity with other attending countries.
He also said that the local squad would benefit immensely from the exposure to top world class players from some of the strongest football nations even as they acclimatize to the European environment.
Mr. Forde said that the players would be selected over the coming week and most likely would be drawn from the National U-17 squad that participated in the recently staged Caribbean Football Union (CFU) championships. He also voiced an opinion on the benefits of the exercise, “The advancement of our U-17 brigade is very important and my executives hope that over the coming years the players could use these networking opportunities for personal development and also to enhance their football skills.”
He said that (local) football administrators are working assiduously to realize the requisite funding since “this is a very important step in their (the players) growth.”
Elaborating on the issue of funding, Mr. Forde said that the cost would be in the vicinity of $22 million. He admitted it is somewhat prohibitive but said that his team has commenced a robust campaign since administrators cannot afford to waste such a golden opportunity. “We urgently need corporate assistance and already one company has pledged $500,000 which will be handed over within a couple of days,” Forde revealed.
The team will travel under the slogan, ‘Flour Power National U-17 squad’ as part of the contractual obligation that the GFF has with NAMILCO through its five year sponsorship. Naturally, GFF officials are optimistic that NAMILCO will continue to be the corporate citizen it has always been by rendering some form of support.
Meanwhile, officials of the GFF are pleading for public support and persons interested are kindly asked to make donations at the Republic Bank’s Water Street location, to account number 652-320-3.