Golden Jaguars made encouraging improvements against America FC – Coach Johnson

first_imgGolden Jaguars Head Coach Michael Johnson hails encouraging improvements following the team’s brief stint in the historic “Train and Play” camp held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Kelsey BenjaminWe didn’t want it to end, we were saying another five, ten minutes; such was our performance, we were in the ascendency, we were pushing forward and pressing. The lads have really taken on board what we’ve been doing over the last eight days against the best team we’ve played to date.”The words of Head Coach of the Golden Jaguars, Michael Johnson, as he recapped the performance of this young team after their third match played against America Football Club (AFC) at their home stadium, Estádio Giulite Coutinho, which has a capacity of 16,000.Despite the match ending 2-1 in favour of AFC, their second goal coming from a penalty in the second half, Johnson and his technical staff complimented the players for the way they performed.The host team took the lead towards the end of the first half but the energetic Guyanese team, which had been matching the AFC team play for play and pressuring them also, got the equalizer minutes later when a cross from Kelsey Benjamin into their area was put into the back of the nets by one of the home team defenders.Daniel WilsonThe goal came at the end of a good 10-minute period of domination by the mainly young squad here in Rio, which has a few senior players, including Captain Samuel Cox and Vurlon Mills.Johnson elaborates more on the game: “It’s not about the results, it just shows how we are improving, how the information is going in and how they are taking it on board and applying it.” He noted that it’s all good taking on board what is being taught but application of the knowledge is vital: “I think today {Monday} what we saw were lots of performances where they were actually grabbing hold of some of the key nuggets that I and Senior Coach Taffazul Islam Rehman have been teaching them about in the week.”While acknowledging that this is just the beginning of exciting times for Guyana’s football, Johnson pointed out that lots more work have to be done defensively and offensively. “We are never that perfect model, but what I can say is that it’s been a massive uplift from when we saw them first defensively attacking and attacking-wise to where we are now.He continued, “What we can see is that there is at least 40% to 50% increase in some of the ways and some of the performances just by being in the right positions at times – better starting positions, better places to receive the ball – so you are not now near an opponent, you are working off the ball. Not playing on the same lines, so now you are now playing off it diagonally so when you see the ball comes in on an angle, it allows you to see the game better.”He stated that little things like those, even off the ball, the way the players pressed high up which was not done before, it was done individually, which meant that sometimes when that was done individually, it allowed the opponent to pick the player off easily:“People get picked off, they get disgruntled and annoyed, but now we are going more as a team and you have seen that in the game. It was really pleasing to watch and, as I said, I didn’t want it to finish. Such was the nature of the game; we were enjoying it so much we didn’t want it to finish.”Like has been done in the previous two matches, all the players here were afforded the opportunity to have match time: “We had a really long, good look at certain players we felt had done really good over the course of the week but the second period when the other players came on, they stepped up; and that’s great, because what you don’t want to see is people moaning or groaning or not showing that passion. They responded in the right and proper way and it gives you another headache going into the final game on Thursday.”The Guyana-based coaches have been integrally involved in running the sessions during the initial days of the camp as it allowed the new tacticians the opportunity to assess and learn the players. The subsequent sessions, led by Head Coach and other members of the technical staff, have been tough but the players have been gradually adapting to the style of play, which was aptly exhibited against America FC.AFC is located in Mesquita in the state of Rio de Janeiro and was founded on September 18, 1904. It has been a regular in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A competition and has won the state championship seven times.last_img

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