– Says Newly-Appointed Senior Men’s Team Goalkeeping Coach Eon De Viera
The competitive International Friendly between Guyana’s Golden Jaguars and the Martinique senior national team on Tuesday, 28th March ended in a nil-all draw. However, there was no doubt that it was a game with a fair number of chances which required the Golden Jaguars’ defence, including the goalkeeper, being put to work.
The man responsible for the preparation of the goalkeepers for the match was Eon De Viera, the newly-appointed senior national goalkeeping coach. De Viera, is no stranger to football having begun his career in football as a player at the U-19 level.
In summarizing the keepers’ performance, De Viera said they had a successful stint: “I was very satisfied with the results of the game and the performance of the goalkeepers. Andrew Durant was selected to be the starting keeper and he had an excellent performance; he made some very timely and important saves which kept us in the game. He was injured, he hit his knee while making another excellent save and wasn’t able to continue which is why we made the substitution with the goalkeeper and brought in Mr. Akel Clarke who also held his fort and took us to the nil-all finish.”
The coach who also serves the national U-15 and U-17 squads was encouraged by the work ethic of the selected senior goalkeepers during training sessions – Durant, Clarke and young Jonathan Copeland: “Training sessions went really well because the guys have a very good work ethic, they were able to keep up with the high intensity of one of the sessions we did, which was the first session, to determine level of fitness and technical ability.”
Having worked with Copeland at the U-17 level, De Viera was happy about his inclusion in the senior squad: “It was a very good experience for him, he had a chance to work with two very experienced goalkeepers with good technical ability and it was good for him to see the work ethic which is required of him to meet at the next level.”
Highlighting the qualities an effective goalkeeper should possess, De Viera said: “A goalkeeper needs to be always aware …they have to be committed… love for the game is (also) very important because in goalkeeping, it’s a cleanup of the mess; when everybody makes a mess, you have to clean it up and you have to be delighted to clean up the mess…”
He added that a goalkeeper should also have a strong character to handle negative pressures, converting same into something positive while being a team player. “Don’t look for the negatives in the players but always be willing to motivate them.”
The coach who once was selected for the senior team as a player but had to reluctantly abandon his playing career due to an injury said he was very happy about his appointment to the senior squad: “It is what you work for, you put the best into whatever you’re doing to meet to the highest level and this is the highest level in Guyana and I’m very delighted and honored to be part of the senior makeup. I will do my best to raise the standards of the goalkeepers in Guyana.”
“I see myself working with whichever team the Federation would prefer to have me work with. I don’t have preference in teams but I love to work with the youths. If I’m called to be with the seniors, I can step up to that level and work at that level too. Wherever my expertise is needed, that’s where I’ll be,” De Viera concluded.
The Golden Jaguars competed against Martinique in front of a capacity crowd at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, Linden signaling a return of international football to Linden after six years.