Cayman Islands embark on their journey next month towards a World Cup finals place in South Africa in 2010.
No country as small as Cayman has ever reached the World Cup finals, so they will create history if it happens.
Cayman take on Bermuda in a World Cup preliminary qualifier at the National Sports Centre, Nassau, on 3 February and the return leg is at the revamped Truman Bodden Stadium, George Town on 30 March.
Cayman drew 0-0 with Bermuda in the Olympic Under-23 qualifiers in Cuba in September so they will not be a totally unknown quantity.
Coach Carl Brown is very upbeat about Cayman’s chances. He said: ‘My players’ attitude has been great. We’ve been doing a lot of work in improving the physical conditioning of the players and their technical areas. That’s what I’ve been concentrating on and I’m pretty happy with the progress that has been made.
‘We stopped during Christmas week and they worked pretty hard up till then and they’ve come back in pretty good condition. The holidays were in the week which is not as bad as if it had fallen on the weekend, so I don’t believe we had a lot of players partying over the festive period.
‘It is tough to say whether we’re where we want to be. For a World Cup qualifier you always want as much time as possible to prepare. But with the time we’ve had and the work they’ve put in, I’m satisfied so far.
‘We leave for a one week training camp in Jamaica on Monday and will play five games. Once we get that it will be great for the entire unit. I’m really looking forward to that and once we get that in, with match preparation and giving me a chance to look at certain players in various positions, I’ll be very happy.
‘We’ll be going to Kingston and Clarendon and playing Sporting Chance, Boys Town, Portmore United, Harbour View and Tivoli. These are big clubs, tough ones and it will be good for them.’
One keen Caymanian is Gabriel Godet. The 18-year-old midfielder has a glowing future ahead of him, which is why fitness coach Tiago Cunha selected Godet to train at his former club in Brazil, Vasco da Gama, for two months at the end of last year.
‘Training is going well so far,’ Godet said. ‘Everybody’s training well as a team so I think we’ll do great. Even at Christmas I did some stuff for myself. I didn’t party at all. We drew with Bermuda in the Olympic qualifiers and I think we can beat them this time. We learnt from that match that as long as we believe in ourselves we can beat any team. We just need to train hard and work together.
‘I got a lot of experience at Vasco da Gama. The players don’t only train hard, they love football so much because they don’t really have anything else to do.’
The Manchester United supporter feels he has the talent and dedication to be a pro. ‘I want to make it as a footballer, either in America, but preferably Europe.’