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Mar 27, 2015

Jaguars Depart on Delayed Flight

The Belize Jaguars has been in the news for the past week; from a controversy of what’s seen as a locking out of star player to a disappointing scoreless qualifier match after failing to make good on a six-nil prediction. We have had it all, and so today, it was only natural that we caught up with the team at the airport as they prepared to leave for their second match. After being at the P.G.I.A. for over seven long hours, the team finally left this evening shortly before six because of a delayed flight. We spoke with officials and goalkeeper extraordinaire, Woodrow West. They talked disappointments, confidence, expectations and more. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has the story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Jaguars departed Belize today for Cayman Islands for game two of the World Cup qualifying series. And with scoreless draw in Belize on Wednesday night, there are expectations in respect of round two. Belize wants a win and the island boys will be on home turf. So, what must the Jaguars do differently this time?


Charlie Slusher

Charlie Slusher, Assistant Coach, Belize Jaguars

“I think most of the changes will be within our players to be more confident and more patient. Because, I think, I don’t know if it was the whole field and the pressure of the fans that we really wanted to win this game and we really wanted to score. Maybe trying to score the six goals that we had predicted it kinda made us not really focusing and keeping the game simple and doing the things we should have done. In terms of our tactics and strategy, we don’t believe we need to change our system of play.”


Woodrow West, Goalkeeper, Belize Jaguars

“In my point of view, the only change that we need to make is to get the ball behind the net. At this point you know the team has played well and execute in our system. The team still has the energy level high. We worked out yesterday twice and we getting well prepared to go out far as we could to finish this game with a victory on Sunday nuh.”


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Coordinator, Belize Jaguars

“We have looked at that game and we have a new strategy going in to Cayman and I think everyone noticed the difference the younger players made when they came in for the second half and we will make the necessary adjustments. I am pretty confident that we will be able to overcome.”


Overall, officials are satisfied with the team’s level of play. Although striker Deon McCauley is out, the team did triple up. This time around, they just need to score goals.


Charlie Slusher

“We are playing with three strikers. We have three of the top strikers in the country, so by rights we shouldn’t be having any problems scoring goals because these are the guys who have been getting the awards for scoring most goals, this year, last year and several years ago. So they are known to be good strikers. Why didn’t score is still our guess. But we believe in those guys and we still have a very well chance to advance even though Deon is not here.”


John Saldivar

“I have to be pleased with the way the team played in terms of playing in the system that they have been learning. I think they played well in terms of their respective positions. We expected a better result in terms of scoring but the team played well together as team.”


Woodrow West

And the players are using the disappointment to build confidence for the second match against the Cayman Islands.


Charlie Slusher

“Our players are very disappointed within themselves about their performance. The only good thing with it is that at camp the guys feel this confidence that if they work hard they can get over Cayman and they know that they made a golden opportunity slip away from them.”


Woodrow West

“The strikers dem felt downhearted. As a senior player on the team, I talked to them and our defense talked to them. Including Smith, he felt bad about the penalty but it’s part of football. Unfortunately, it affected us because we were on our home field and to win games we need to score. But on the other hand, it was an experience for them as well and they both know what to do.”


So, what would a win on Sunday mean for Belize Jaguars?


Charlie Slusher

“Well, it means a lot and one of the most important thing about it is that the transformation that the team is going through means that the younger guys can continue and can get the opportunity to play international and build on the experience.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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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