The toughest match in years is only a month away for the Cayman Islands national football team.
They face Bermuda at the soon-to-be-completed Truman Bodden field on 30 March in the second leg of a World Cup qualifier after drawing with them 1-1 away at the start of the month.
One player relishing the tussle is Jedd Ebanks, the combative midfielder who has just turned 20. He will be ready for the Bermudans and especially anxious to take on the skills of their celebrated midfield.
Ebanks is still bedding into international competition. He is looking forward to this weekend’s matches against top Jamaican club Boys Town as preparation for the World Cup qualifier. Their visit was arranged by Cayman head coach Carl Brown who spent all his early playing and coaching career at Boys Town in Trench Town.
A Cayman select team faces Boys Town at the North Side playing field on Saturday and the Cayman national team takes them on the following evening at the same venue. Both kick offs are 7pm.
Ebanks was on the recent week long training trip to Jamaica. ‘We drew 1-1 with Boys Town in Kingston and I hope we can beat them when they come here,’ he said. ‘They were pretty fast with a lot of skill. They weren’t really physical, more fast than anything. Their players tend to be short and quick.
‘I’m really looking forward to playing Bermuda. I see us improving a lot more under coach Carl. I kind of expect them to come much harder because we got the draw. I don’t really know what tactics we’ll use but we’ll be ready.’ Ebanks is the type who prefers to let his feet express his emotions. This telephone interview took quite a while as he is a shy person by nature. ‘Coach Brown knows I don’t really like talking to the press,’ he laughed. Nevertheless, Ebanks was in upbeat mood.
He plays for Elite who are not having a great season in the league although they got to the semis of the Digicel Cup. ‘We lost to Roma in the semis. I’ve played pretty well this season.’