“It feels good to be back” – Briggs

first_imgFOR 28-year-old defender Matthew Briggs, being named in Guyana’s 23-man squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup is a ‘dream come true’ — a series of thoughts and imagination that started since he first tasted International football for the Golden Jaguars in March of 2015.Briggs played an instrumental role in Guyana’s 2 – 0 win over Grenada at the Guyana National Stadium on March 28, 2015, however, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee overturned the result in favour of the men from the ‘Spice Isle’, claiming that the former Fulham FC English Premier League defender was ineligible to play for Guyana.According to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, who met and deliberated over the matter before handing down the sanction, the GFF was liable for the violation of article 5 of the regulations governing the application of the Statutes as well as article 55 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for having fielded the player, Matthew Briggs, without him holding Guyanese nationality.FIFA further noted that the match is declared a lost by forfeit by Guyana (3-0), citing the FIFA Disciplinary Code. In addition, the Federation is ordered to pay a fine to the amount of 4,000 Swiss Francs.The GFF was also ordered to take all appropriate measures in order to guarantee that the FIFA regulations are strictly complied with.The Golden Jaguars had initially won the match 2 – 0, thanks to a double from Pernell Schultz in the 18th and 38th minutes.Fast forward to over four years later, Briggs, who also played with Watford, Colchester and Millwall, told Chronicle Sport in an exclusive interview, “I’ve had a rough few years but to come through the other side…I’ve had a great season with Maldon and Tiptree and to now be called up for Guyana to play in the gold cup, it’s a dream come true.”Over the years, while waiting for the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) flagship programme, the senior men’s national team went through the highs and lows of International football. Briggs noted that he was “watching the boys playing and keeping track of their progress and was gutted, I couldn’t be a part of it. And I want to say first of all ‘thank you’ to the boys for getting Guyana to the Gold Cup and I am proud of every single one of them.”“This is the best team I think Guyana has ever had and I think we will surprise a lot of people at the Gold Cup. I believe we have a team strong enough to get out of the group stage most definitely,” Briggs said.Briggs and company will meet up from June 1 in Bermuda where they will come up against fellow Gold Cup debutants, Bermuda, in an international friendly on June 6.Golden Jaguars will then travel to Costa Rica to continue their camp over the period June 9-13 and while there, they will play another international friendly, this time against Caribbean powerhouse, Haiti, on June 11.From Costa Rica, the team will travel to their base in St Paul, Minnesota, USA, for their opening game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 on June 18 against defending champions, USA.The Golden Jaguars were drawn in Group D of the 16-team tournament, with the USA, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.Following their opening game against the USA on June 18, the side will travel to Cleveland, Ohio to take on Panama on June 22 at the First Energy Stadium, then play their final group game against Caribbean Football Union (CFU) rivals, Trinidad and Tobago, on June 26 at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas.Golden Jaguars team: Matthew Briggs, Terell Ondaan, Jordan Dover, Liam Gordon, Quillan Roberts, Sam Cox, Neil Danns, , Emery Welshman, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Callum Harriott, Anthony Jeffery, Pernell Shultz, Warren Creavalle, Elliot Bonds, Terrence Vancooten, Kevin Layne, Stephen Duke-McKenna, Sheldon Holder, Daniel Wilson, Akel Clarke and Alex Murray.last_img read more