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Mar 19, 2021

Belize Jaguars ready for the World Cup Qualifiers

In case you missed it, the Football Federation of Belize presented its official roster for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The team was selected after a series of cuts – based on fitness and other training preparation. As news Five’s Andrea Polanco found out, the players have had to maintain a lot of self discipline during the pandemic, but are now roaring to go.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Football Federation of Belize has put together the roster for the National A Team that will represent Belize in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.  The twenty-three players are seasoned names and young talent from home and abroad that make up the national A Team:


Maurice Jones, Retired Footballer

“Goal-keeper Woodrow West; Eithon Wagner; Issac Castillo; Ian Gaynair; Norman Anderson; Collin Westby; Jose Urbina; Asrel Sutherland; Everal Trapp; Andres Makin Jr; Jordy Polanco; Ean Lewis; Jesse August; Krisean Lopez; Nahjib Guerra; Desmond Wade; Deshawon Nembhard;  Angelo Cappelo; Mike Atkinson; Nana Mensah; Carlos Bernardez; Deon McCaulay; Johny El Zein.”


It’s been a tough year for the footballers – they have been unable to play the sport due to the COVID-19 regulations. In order to avoid default for the upcoming qualifiers, they had to prepare by training in a bubble at the FFB grounds. According to the FFB, the team members had trained long and hard even before they joined the training camp last month:


Dale Pelayo

Dale Pelayo, Head Coach, Belize National Team

“We started mid-October because of the quarantine and unable to play contact sport. We had to go online to implement a special training program individually for our players and from Mid-October leading up to the middle of January we had our players work on a specific endurance, strength and speed.”


Marlon Kuylen, Executive Member, FFB

Marlon Kuylen

“Of all national team preparation so far, this has been the most challenging. Apart from not playing for an entire year, the players had to motivate themselves to keep in tip top shape for the day they would be called to take the physical test. Once chosen the mental preparation for living an entire month away from home before travelling an additional ten days with the ambitions of representing our country.”



The team is a mix of veteran footballers and young players who say they are excited for the qualifiers:


Deon McCaualy

Deon McCaualy, Member, Belize Jaguars

“We have all sacrificed so much and the most prestigious trophy in football is on the line once again for us, Belize. The sacrifices that we have made are not easy especially in the time that we are living in but we love this country and we love the game so much that we are ready to do whatever it takes to bring success to our family, friends, fans and country and ourselves.”


Angelo Capello, Member, Belize Jaguars

Angelo Capello

“I have enjoyed every moment. I love playing football and love being here and it is always an honor to represent my country regardless of where I have been or where I am coming from. On that note, I can’t wait to put that shirt on and step out on to the pitch and show Belize what I and the team will do.”



The Belize Jaguars heads Haiti on Sunday and they will have their first match against that island and then they travel to the Dominican Republic where they will play their home game against the Turks and Caicos. President Sergio Chuc wants Belize to rally behind the Jaguars:


Sergio Chuc

Sergio Chuc, President, FFB

“Belize, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to give your team, give the Jaguars your hundred percent support. They are facing, I believe, the most difficult opponents in our group next week and once we pass this hurdle which we are sure we could pass, it will be flying colors for the rest of the games.”


Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.


The team will be accompanied by Head Coach Dale Pelayo Sr., Assistant Coach  Marvin Ottley; Goal Keeper Coach Stanley Reneau; along with several other supporting staff including a manager,  physical trainer and therapist and a doctor.  Michael Salazar and Tony Rocha who play in the major league soccer in the U.S. are unable to join the team due to quarantine regulations time period.

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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