Effervescent striker Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson will lead the Golden Jaguars in the International friendly against perennial rival Suriname at the National Stadium, Providence, this evening.
Officials of the Guyana and Suriname contingents, as well as GFF and Banks DIH Limited’s executives at the pre-match press briefing on Saturday at the Pegasus Hotel (Avenash Ramzan photo)
Richardson, who last suited up for the senior national team back in 2012, said “it is good to be a captain for your country”, noting that he is looking forward to a solid comeback against the neighbouring Dutch-speaking nation.
“We got some good youngsters to take over from ‘Jackie Chan’ soon, and I’m just sharing my experience with them, helping out the programme,” he pointed out. “Certainly looking forward to a good game tomorrow [today], especially from my behalf,” he added.
Head Coach Jamaal Shabazz stated that the captaincy will pose a new challenge for Richardson. “It’s a huge challenge for him; it’s easier for him to be a bad boy than to be a good boy and a leader…and he has shown tremendous leadership in the training sessions. He has helped and made the coaching a lot easier, by helping the younger players.”
Today’s game will be the Golden Jaguars first game since drawing 4-4 with St Vincent and the Grenadines last June in the World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium. The last time Guyana and Suriname met, the Dutch nation used home advantage to good effect to eke out a 1-0 result.
This time around, the Surinamese are coming with a completely different squad from that encounter, but will be missing players from the country’s top club Inter Moengotapoe, who are on international duty.
Nevertheless, the visitors are using the game to test their preparedness for participation in the Caribbean Cup. The Guyana Jaguars’ line-up is all local based players, drawn from teams competing in the ongoing Stag Elite League.
Meanwhile, Banks DIH Limited, through its Banks Beer and Coca Cola brands, is the title sponsor of the match, and the company’s senior executive, Brian Choo Hen, said the beverage giant is pleased to partner with the Guyana Football Federation.
The Guyana/Suriname game will kick off at 20:30 hrs. Prior to that, All Star teams of the Georgetown Football Association and the Upper Demerara Football Association will square off at 18:00 hrs. Admission to the venue is $1,500 (General seating) and $5,000 (VIP).
(Reprinted from today’s Guyana Times)