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Jun 9, 2015

Belize Jaguars Leave for Away Game in Dominican Republic

Belize’s national team, the Jaguars, left the country just after midday today en route to the Dominican Republic. On Thursday, they face the A-selection from that country for the first of a two-game battle. The winner advances one step closer to representing their nation in the 2018 World Cup. This morning, the Jaguars moved with new confidence and new resolve, determined to emerge victorious after months of intense training. Mike Rudon was at the P.G.I.A. as the team left with the nation’s hopes and heart with them. Here’s that story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Belize Jaguars selection that now prepares to represent the nation in the Dominican Republic features many of the veterans of battles past. But there is something different about this team, marked by devastating loss at the Gold Cup and less than stellar showings since.

Charles Slusher

Charles Slusher, Assistant Coach
“We started it during the Cayman series. Belizeans got a lot of opportunities to see different forms of football from the Belize team that they are not used to seeing and this trend will continue. We want to continue changing the dynamic of the whole how Belizeans just kick the ball and chase it. We want to be able to compete at it and show that we know how to play football. And with the youth and the veteran and the young guys here, this is the way forward. Honestly this team still has the room to get better and will get better as we continue on that journey.”
For the very first time, the team has gotten the opportunity to work out together for six months, and that has made all the difference, at least in the mindset of these determined players.

 

Charles Slusher
“In the past, we have always heard the complaints that the team just assembled in a month or three weeks before a tournament and it is hard to really prepare. This team, like I said, we have no excuse; we had enough time to make these guys get prepared like a total package. They had time to work on their endurance, their speed, the technical part of the game so we are more well-rounded and prepared for any game. So there is a comfort when it comes from the coaching staff to know that the team is ready and they have put in their work. There is not much more that you can do at this time, but to go out there on the field and do your job.”

Ian Gaynair, Defender, Belize Jaguars
“Remember the last time I tell unu, if we train one week, I noh gwen pan the trip. Well we train almost three months and dah intense training. We gone dah Mountain Pine, we gone train on the beach; we do a lotta football works. We put in a good work. This dah one time I could say this team ina really good condition, noh; ah ready fi den ya two big game.”

 

Woodrow West

Woodrow West, Goalkeeper, Belize Jaguars
“It’s a good thing because all of us wanted that moment that we can train a good couple months before dehn two big games. And I think it is a very big step for us that we had those intense training and the guys are in very good shape right now. So it is just a matter of time that we needed so that we can play our game more comfortable.”

All eyes will be on prolific striker Deon McCauley, playing for the first time in the qualifiers. In the first round against Cayman, Belize had many opportunities but couldn’t pull the trigger. McCauley is the team’s gunman, poised to make his country proud.

Deon McCauley, Striker, Belize Jaguars
“I think that we have a solid team—offensively and defensively—so I think that with the players that we have, I believe that we will get a good result in Dominica.”

Charles Slusher
“That was one of the part that was lacking in the series with Cayman; we didn’t have a striker like Deon McCauley and we didn’t have someone to finish and score goals. We did everything except scoring goals. But now we have Deon there so that kinda also gives us a level of confidence because we have a complete team and again we should have no excuse in not making it to the next round.”

Deon McCauley

Deon McCauley
“This game is a game that you know that without goals, you cannot win. And you know offensively we got to be strong as well to go up against any team on any day to score to make sure that we get the results that we need to pass this round.”
The effort to keep the team together has left the federation, already chronically cash strapped, struggling to keep afloat. And as they travel to the Dominican Republic, there is a call, as always, for continued support from the public.

 

Marlon Kuylen

Marlon Kuylen, Executive Member, F.F.B.

“We’re grabbing money from all different areas that we can right now. But it has taken a toll on us and indeed we are running on fumes right now. Apart from filling the stadium on Sunday—that will help a lot—we will need the public support after this.”
Charles Slusher

“We need their support and it is good that they are behind this team. Likewise the team knows this and the team will not be satisfied without getting a victory for the Belizean people.”

 

Ian Gaynair

Ian Gaynair
“Just stay positive, stay behind the team and we gwen out there and do fu we part. And we wa make sure, we wah try fi we best to make whole of Belize proud.”

Deon McCauley
“Give us the support. Win, lose or draw, we will do our best out there and we know that we have the Belizean people that will support us. We will play with the pride of our flag and we will try our best and we know that we have an entire country behind us.”

Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

The team returns on Friday, and will face the Dominican Republic here at home on Sunday at the F.F.B. Stadium in Belmopan.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Belize Jaguars Leave for Away Game in Dominican Republic”

  1. Al says:

    Will the game be on any TV station or radio station?

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