Two Golden Jaguars players seal contracts in Europe

first_imgBy Ras WadadaTWO members of Guyana’s senior men’s football team – Golden Jaguars – signed new professional football contracts within 24 hours of each other and in different countries in Europe.The two English-born players were members of Guyana’s historic team that made their debut at CONCACAF’s prestigious Gold Cup last year.First to affix his signature last Thursday was Anthony Jeffrey who will be plying his trade this season in Northern Wales for the Wrexham FC in the English 5th tier National League after almost 3 years at Dover Athletic FC.The 25-year-old speedy winger in an invited comment to Chronicle Sport expressed his delight on becoming a ‘Red Dragon’, “I am very happy with this new direction in my career as it works for me and my family, so I am looking forward to push on.Last season I had a disappointing year after the Gold Cup because I did not push on as I should have, but thankfully I am here now at a much bigger club. My goals are to stay healthy and be consistent so as to help the club get promoted. Playing for such a big club I now need to reach my full potential and I feel like I am ready for the challenge”.Wrexham FC enjoyed their best season of the last four that they have played in the National League finishing 4th out of 24 teams last season and in 2013 won the 44th FA cup final for tiers 5 to 8 at the famous Wembley Stadium.The oldest football club in Wales was established in 1864 and is the 3rd oldest professional club in the world. Their highest division ever reached was in 1978 when they gained promotion to the English 2nd division.Jeffrey, whose parents are both born and bred Guyanese, also shared that interest, at Wrexham. In Guyana it is already being felt as he has received request for the Golden Jaguars shirt which brought smiles to his face.“This opportunity to play for Wrexham has got almost half the nation finding out about Guyana since it is one of the biggest teams in Wales; so more people are now taking notice of Guyana and it has me smiling with pride. I doubt many people here would have known about Guyana before I signed.Matthew Briggs also inked a deal which binds him to newly promoted Superliga side Vejle Boldklub for the next two years..“It certainly will help me to be better prepared to play for Guyana on the international stage which I am looking forward to. I wish everyone in Guyana good health in these trying times,” the 5-time capped Golden Jaguars player stated.The powerfully-built Jeffrey made an impressive international debut for Guyana at the Leonora Track and Field Stadium last year March against Belize when the Jaguars scored a historic win to qualify for their first major international tournament, the Gold Cup.Last Friday, in Denmark, Golden Jaguars team mate Matthew Briggs also inked a deal which binds him to newly promoted Superliga side Vejle Boldklub for the next two years.The 29-year-old Briggs became the youngest player to appear in the English Premier League at 16 years and 68 days in 2007 when he came on as a substitute for Fulham versus Middlesbrough in the final 13 minutes of the game. Another Fulham youth, Harvey Elliott, broke that record last year when at 16 years and 30 days he came on in the 88th minute against Wolves.Speaking to Chronicle Sport from Denmark, via WhatsApp yesterday, the central defender exclaimed that he is currently enjoying the best of his football career, while he explained how he got signed.“I was playing in Denmark last season for Division One side HB Koge and was really playing well, probably the best football I have played in my career, so I was on the radar of Vejle BK whom I had a great game against in the Division One. After football restarted from the lockdown the owner of Vejle contacted me and invited me to come and train with the team for a week to have a look at me in their lineup”.The 29-year-old who played 30 times for England youth sides, U-16, U-17, U-19, U-20 and U-21 – made a switch to Danish football two years ago and says it was always his desire to play abroad and after his career took a downward turn he decided to make the move.“I had dropped down the leagues in England where it is so hard to get back up, especially at my age, since clubs are more inclined to invest in younger players and when the opportunity through a former manager came I jumped at it as it was always my desire to play abroad and Denmark was the ideal.“The style of football I’d say is more technical, but not much of a difference from the Championship of England and I must say is a really good standard. It’s a solid contract for 2 years. I am so happy now and to be playing top flight football again and against quality teams like Copenhagen FC is a great opportunity for me”.Five-time Danish Champions Vejle BK, referred to as ‘The Reds’, is one of the most successful clubs in the country’s football, having produced the only European footballer-of-the-year in Allan Simonsen in 1977, and after winning the Division One last year are back in the top flight and, according to new signee Briggs, his aim is to cement his place in the starting eleven, while “remaining fit and playing consistently as I can”.The six-footer added that “everyone knows I play for Guyana and I do get people asking me all the time to bring back Golden Jaguars shirts for them”.The grandson of a born Guyanese on his mother’s side made his international debut for Guyana in 2015 versus Grenada. He has gone on to add 9 more caps as well as to score a goal and he is eagerly anticipating the continuation of his Golden Jaguars career.“I am very much looking forward to continuing my Golden Jaguars career as the future for us seems very exciting, after finding out we are going to the Gold Cup again and of course the upcoming World Cup Preliminaries.“I believe the more we put Guyana on the map, the more exposure the local players will get and definitely clubs in Europe will want to contract them.”His reconnections to his roots in his words: “It has been amazing connecting with so many of my family and Guyana is a beautiful country. However, I would like to see football become more popular in the country and for local players to have better opportunities to play for bigger teams.”last_img

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