WITH the aim to foster continuous exposure and development of young Guyana-based players on the international field, newly-appointed head coach of Guyana senior Men’s National team, commonly known as the Golden Jaguars, Márcio Máximo has shortlisted a 20-man squad to play the first two matches of the CONCACAF Nations League (CNL) against Aruba and Jamaica respectively. The squad, which includes 10 Guyana-based players, comprises three goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and five forwards.“Of course, I have been here just 10 days and while that time was not enough, I have been able to see the characteristics of the players to provide a good combination of Guyana and international-based players in the squad,” said coach Máximo in an invited comment following the announcement of the squad yesterday.He said team preparations have been steady and going well and while the intent for the upcoming matches is to win, there’s no guarantee in international football:“Preparations have been going very well, the guys are very motivated. The guys have shown great interest and, of course, they understand the tactical elements.While we will set out to win the upcoming matches, there’s no guarantee in football. We, however, will go to the game with optimism that we can have a good result against both Aruba and Jamaica.”A 31-man Guyana-based provisional squad has been in training at the GFF’s National Training Centre, Providence for just under a month in preparation for the CNL.Guyana’s first match is scheduled for September 6 against Aruba in Curacao. Guyana will then play their first of three home matches against Jamaica on September 9 at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora from 19:00hrs.The team is set to depart tomorrow and the international-based players will join the squad in Curacao on the said day for encampment before the first match.The allocation of teams for the current group stage of the tournament was determined following the one-off qualifying phase held in September 2018 – March 2019. Guyana have been placed in League B – Group C with Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda and Aruba, based on their performance, which earned them a place at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.In this current group stage, teams have been placed in three Leagues – A, B and C – with four groups and will play home-and-away matches, round-robin format for promotion and relegation. The winner of each group will be promoted while the loser will be relegated. Six nations – Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Trinidad & Tobago – have gained automatic qualification having reached the final qualification stage for the 2018 World Cup. The 34 remaining nations have been placed in the group qualifiers.League A contains 12 teams, with the six hexagonal participants joined by the top six teams from the qualification phase. League B contains the next 16 teams from the qualifying phase who finished in seventh to 22nd place. League C contains the remaining member associations, with the teams who finished 23rd to 34th in qualifying. The semi-finals and finals are set for March 2020 with the winners of Groups 1–4 in League-A competing in two semi-finals.Guyana’s other matches in the tournament are as follows:October 11: Antigua & Barbuda vs Guyana in Antigua.October 14: Guyana vs Antigua in Guyana.November 15: Guyana vs Aruba in Guyana.November 18: Jamaica vs Guyana in Jamaica.The squad reads:Goalkeepers: Alex Murray, Akel Clarke, Quillan RobertsDefenders: Sam Cox, Sherwin Skeete, Kevin Layne, Raphael Edwards, Matthew Briggs, Liam GordonMidfielders: Neil Danns, Clive Nobrega, Daniel Wilson, Delwin Fraser, Stephen Duke-McKenna, Ryan HackettForwards: Kelsey Benjamin, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Pernell Schultz, Terell Ondaan, Sheldon HolderHead coach Marcio Maximo, assistant coach Charles Pollard, goalkeeper/coach Eon DeVeira, lead physiotherapist: Denzil Hernandez, physiotherapist Quacy Paddy, head of sports science Wilson Toledo, head of recruitment Faizal Khan, team operations manager Rawle Adams, equipment manager Trevor Burnett.