The Cayman Islands National Under 20 Football team leaves the island this weekend to participate in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup Qualifying Competition scheduled for July 28th through August 1st, 2006 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The National Team is scheduled to depart on Sunday July 23rd and Monday July 24th and return on Thursday August 3rd.
Head Coach, Roy ‘Hutta’ Ebanks stated that ‘this tournament is the first step towards giving the players international exposure in a competition of this nature. We are going to participate and take it game by game.’ He also said that this is a new adventure for our footballers and a step in the right direction for the future of our National Team.
Coach Hutta is very pleased with the atmosphere both within the team and with CIFA and says that this will bode well for the future development of the game in the Cayman Islands.
Philip Hydes, Assistant Coach, says ‘the team is cohesive and anxious for the experience. They are asking for the continued support and encouragement of the general public and fans.’
Mid Fielder, Jairo Sanchez, acknowledged that his team is one made up of good, strong players that never give up. He also said that the players have only recently started playing together as a team and they will be up against teams which have been together for a long time and this puts them at a disadvantage. However, they will do their best and are hoping for a god outcome.
Our opponents in this competition are Cuba, Dominican Republic and Anguilla. Cuba is in the top three in the Caribbean region and one of the powerhouses of football and will prove to be a difficult opponent. The Dominican Republic match will be a challenging game given the fact that they have the advantage of having home support. However, Anguillan team is not to be underestimated. The Under 20 team is prepared to go out do their best.