As part of their mandate to professionalise and improve skill in Guyana’s senior football team, President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Wayne Forde earlier today formally introduced the Golden Jaguar’s new head coach. In introducing the internationally acclaimed coach, the GFF President stated, “The GFF Executive Committee has undertaken to professionalise it’s senior men and senior women programme and in that process we have reached out and worked as hard as we could in the past couple of months to bring the right people that we think can move the programme forward and purse the goals and objectives and the vision of the Executive Committee.”
He explained that upon posting the vacancy, the GFF received a whopping 200 applications which was eventually shortlisted to six candidates; a mixture of both local and international players. Eventually, equipped with English Football Association (former England Manager) Sven-Goran Eriksson and the English Premier League recommendations, it was Michael Johnson who was successful in securing the top spot.
Technical Director of the GFF, Ian Greenwood expressed optimism and excitement about what Johnson will bring to the national team. ”With the squad that we have on paper, the key word has always been potential and we feel that Michael will be the man to turn potential into performance and process and put Guyana back where it should be on a regional stage,” he stated.
Greenwood further noted that he believes Johnson has the knowledge, passion, and drive to progress that local team over the next few, he noted that he looks forward to seeing collaborations between the technical department, the junior teams and the senior teams.
In terms of work to be done, Johnson believes the Golden Jags have immense potential and the task upon him is to develop that talent. The new coach revealed that he took the time to review a few Golden Jaguar games, inclusive of their encounters with Mexico and Jamaica. “It showed me that you’ve got the nucleus of a good team, 100 per cent.”
He went on to state that, “If it wasn’t achievable I would be sitting here saying you’ve got no chance, but actually I truly believe that the vision and the direction of where we want to go is achievable. I believe we can do something with the youth talent, I believe we can get in the top 100, I believe we can qualify for the gold cup.”
Johnson, who possess a UEFA Pro Licence and the League Managers Association Diploma can be considered the most qualified coach that has ever been appointed to the Golden Jaguars team. Johnson’s contract is currently set at a three-year span. The new head coach also paid a visit to the Social Cohesion Ministry which holds the portfolio of sport, and the National Training Centre at Providence, which is currently under construction.