All is set for the departure of the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Under-17 Women’s National Football team as they prepare to leave the island for Antigua Sunday, November 18, to participate in Group A of the Girl’s Under-17 World Cup Qualifiers starting November 21st.
The Cayman Islands will join hosts Antigua, Jamaica and the US Virgin Islands to form Group A. Only one team will advance to the next level from this group.
On Wednesday Cayman Islands will face Antigua, on Friday 23rd, they take on the US Virgin Islands while their last game will be against Jamaica on Sunday before their return home on Monday 26th November.
President of CIFA Jeffrey Webb said that the association has given the technical staff and the girls its fullest support, adding that they were optimistic that the girls will perform at their best in Antigua.
‘I have no doubt these young ladies will be great ambassadors of the Cayman Islands, they are focused, disciplined and have exhibited tremendous positive attitudes. I expect positive results from the team they train hard and look excellent in their training sessions.’
‘I must highlight the excellent work of team manager Bernie Bush, the technical staff and the tremendous family support the players have enjoyed,’ Webb commented.
Coach McLaren said that the girls were doing well and were responding to his training techniques positively under the watchful eyes of Technical Director of the Women’s Senior team Thiago Cunha as they make the final preparations at the Agape Football field on a daily basis.
‘I have been doing my best to prepare these girls and at the moment we have been graced with the presence of renowned Jamaican Goal Keeper Coach Paul Campbell who is presently applying the final touches to Goal Keeper Emily Kelly and back up Sophia Roberts’
They are doing well at the training and are very enthused about going into the tournament. They got a taste of international exposure and this has definitely done well for them. At the moment they are excited and very confident going into the tournament,’ McLaren explained.
Thiago Cunha was quite confident in the team pointing out that the team is very strong and is expected to play excellent games at the tournament.
‘We have a strong team, Jamaica is an excellent team and we are going to try to outplay them. We will be playing them very hard. The Caymanian girls are playing as a unit and are focused. Most of these girls played in the senior games recently and they have gotten the exposure which has done a lot for them.’
‘Coach Bobby, Manager Bernie Bush and Goal Keeper Coach Paul Campbell are doing a good job with the squad,’ Cunha commented.
The team comprises of Shenell Gall, Brianna Hydes, Janne Welcome, Shenaye Watson, Tacita Berry, Ashani Francis, Avery-Anne Rankine, Somali Hall Shanice Monteith, Emily Kelly, Brittany Schirn, Alyssa Chin, Sophie Roberts, Martika Williams, Marisa McLaughlin, Brittany Mobley, Latori Nixon and Jasmine Ebanks.
Shennell Gall is a prolific goal scorer. She made her presence felt recently in the game against Haiti in the Women’s National Senior Olympic Qualifiers. Gall scored in the first minute of the game and was brought down later in the game while going towards goal this resulted in the awarding of a penalty that was successfully taken by Shakena Bush.
Travelling with the team will be head of delegation and Team Manager Bernie Bush, Technical Director Thiago Cunha, Head Coach Noel McLaren, Jovani Hessing and Al Bartice. The team will be supported by enthused parents Albert Chin, Charlotte Haylock, Annette Monteith, Daphne Williams, Sharon Berry and Gloria Gall who will travel with the group to Antigua as well.