Fives crank up for play-offs

Five-a-side football is a faster and often more intense version of the outdoor game which is why so many wannabe Ronaldos, Henrys and Kakas play it.

It has become a staple at the King’s Sports Centre and this week both the men’s and women’s versions go into the play-offs so the competitive juices will be overflowing.

Raymond Singh, athletic director at King’s, is pleased with the way it has developed there. ‘This five-a-side programme is 18 months old and has been going since last April and has been sponsored by Digicel since its inception. Currently we’re operating three five-a-side programmes; Division One, Two and Women’s.

‘The women are going to their fourth season and the men their fifth. Twenty-two men’s teams and five women. The next programme starts in November. There are 350 men playing and 70 women and you have to be aged at least 18. They come from all over the island and each team is a district team.’

Cayman has over 130 nationalities here and that is reflected by the diversity of the teams. ‘As far as nationalities go this programme does entertain people from a mixed range, a lot of players from UK, local players as well, North Americans and, of course, Caymanians.’

Top teams are Russell Top Job, the Division One leaders and Old Boys who lead Division Two. Men play throughout the week and women play Fridays and Sundays.

‘Going into the play-offs that’s another ball game. It’s a single elimination round, so you lose a game, you go home. It’s popular because this is a faster game. Scoring can be a lot higher than the outdoor version. Because of the smaller surface you have the walls, it’s a new dimension to playing the game. The Division One is more competitive, whereas Division Two has players of all levels more a kick around. They are all refereed. Come playoff time we have more spectators.’

Stars are Arden Rivers (Burger King) and Ben Marler, Division One’s top scorer. Cayman’s Olympic team captain Rene Carter is a regular too. Of the women Trish Flemming was top scorer after two games with four.

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