COVID-19 ‘a big setback’ for CONCACAF Beach World Cup Qualifiers preparation -Simon

first_imgWith the CONCACAF Beach World Cup Qualifiers tentatively slated for early 2021, Guyanese International Kenard Simon has said that the current COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the team’s preparation. This was disclosed during an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday. According to Simon, who has been capped six times and has scored nine goals for Guyana in this format, the ongoing contagion is thwarting and affecting the overall quality of the team’s preparation.“It has been and will be a big setback because we are not getting to do anything; we begin preparation and have no socialisation with the team. It will be a further setback because when it’s eventually over and once it’s not cancelled, we will have to work harder to get prepared. We will have to work hard because of the confinement before and put our bodies in shape for the tournament,” he said.Guyana competed in the 2019 CONCACAF Beach Football Championship, which was staged in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from May 13th-19th. Guyana ended their Group D campaign with a record of one win and two losses. The Guyanese opened their tournament with an 8-4 loss to El Salvador before going down agonisingly to Guadeloupe 2-0 on penalty kicks following a 3-3 gridlock at the end of full time. The Guyanese ended their campaign with a 3-2 win over Belize. Asked how he has been maintaining his fitness levels during the lockdown, Simon, 30, revealed, “I have been keeping fit through long runs and mostly gym work. I am hoping the situation ends so that we can prepare properly.”He declared that it is always an honour to represent Guyana on the international level. “It is very important and it means a lot to wear the flag on your chest. No matter if you do badly or good, at least you let people know there is a place called Guyana. It is the same and I will work hard as I usually do to make the team and represent Guyana once again,” he said.Simon, who plies his trade for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), has been absent for over a year due to work commitments from the local Elite League circuit. “The intention was to go back but with all of that and how the sport is going, it’s kind of changing your mind to play. It has affected your thinking and doesn’t give you that urge to work,” he said. Simon’s comments echoed similar sentiments expressed by Golden Jaguars International Jeremy Garrett, who opined that the current situation and resulting lockdown will take a toll on the mental health of individuals. He said that the safeguarding of good mental health is essential to the overall wellbeing of everyone.Simon further added, “The COVID-19 situation has changed a lot of things, but I want to get back on the field and play.”last_img

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