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Sep 1, 2015

Jaguars are Canada Bound for World Cup Qualifier

Belize plays Canada this coming Friday at the BMO field in Toronto. And we are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with Channel Seven to bring you the broadcast of the game right in your living rooms on Friday beginning at 5:30. The Jaguars left the country on American Airlines this morning heading to take on the formidable Canucks. While hopeful and optimistic, the burden is heavy on the shoulders of the team to secure a win which will take them to the fourth round of qualifying games of the World Cup. Super striker Deon McCauley who has scored the highest number of goals in FIFA games reflected on Canada’s best scorer just before departing. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Belize Jaguars are off to Toronto, Canada where they are scheduled to play the Canucks in the third round of competition in current FIFA World Cup qualifiers.  The national team has been very meticulous in preparing for this stage of play, the furthest Belize has ever progressed at this level of international football.  Hoping to put the big cats on the scoreboard is Deon McCauley.

 

Deon McCauley, Forward, Belize Jaguars

Deon McCauley

“The main thing is to keep focused, to keep the discipline and to keep the team together.  The training itself was good and I think that the players will benefit from it.  We will be physically prepared, we just need to keep the mental aspect of the game, you know, at hand and try to bring that part of the game on Friday.”

 

Assistant Head Coach Charlie Slusher has been instrumental in ensuring that come game day on September fourth, the team will maintain its composure and manage the exceptionally high stress factor going into the first match.

 

Charlie Slusher

Charlie Slusher, Assistant Head Coach, Belize Jaguars

“The pressure has been much more different than the other games, you know, and when you know that the entire Belizean public is behind the team and believing in them, believing that they can go out there and upset Canada, you know, it’s a really big burden for the guys to back on their shoulders.  But I think that the guys are ready for it mentally, we just need to be focused and not to let the pressure get to us and I think the guys are experienced enough to handle that situation.”

 

Returning from Honduras to join the Jaguars in Toronto is Woodrow West.  His record for defending Belize’s goalpost has been stellar this go-round.

 

Woodrow West, Goalkeeper, Belize Jaguars

Woodrow West

“I reached yesterday and I’ve been training with the team last night and what I saw yesterday the guys are very positive and the training was very intensive yesterday.  So I believe that the guys they have this mentality of going out there and performing the best they could, you know, so I believe we’re ready, we all know what we want and it has been a long way for us and this is one of the breaks we have now to jump to the other level where we’ve wanted to be years ago and to be among the big teams and to stay there, you know.  So it’s a big challenge yes, and I agree with that and I believe that the players and myself we could do it and get along in the fourth round, you know.”

 

To make it to the fourth round the team must survive Canadian striker Cyle Larin.  He has scored a total of three goals going into the home and away series.

 

Deon McCauley

“Everything is different about this game.  Every game is different and we are playing in a different country, different climate, you know, different people.  We’ll be playing against a lot more fans so the pressure will be a little bit on.  So, I mean, everything is different about this one and, like I said, if we keep mentally focused I think that we can accomplish our goal.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now some of these players are going to be on the big stage, so to speak, for the first time where you’ll have thousands of fans supporting their home team in Toronto.  What are you guys doing to sort of allay those fears or excitement so as to keep them as calm as possible to actually, you know, do well on the floor?”

 

Charlie Slusher

“Well, I’m hoping this is where the experience comes in, you know, a lot of the guys have already experienced situations like this and this is when these players now need to lead the other guys into the game basically.  A lot of things will happen on the field where the coaches may not be able to communicate but we have already communicated before the game, as well as these guys need to be communicating on the field with each other and to guide each other.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

 

Of note is that the Canadian national team did not perform well in the recent Gold Cup, but they are still considered a formidable opponent.

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