Cayman had another successful training camp in Jamaica in their final preparations for Sunday’s World Cup shoot out with Bermuda.
Cayman drew 1-1 with Bermuda in the first leg last month and 0-0 or a victory will put them through towards qualification to the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010. If they go through, they will play Trinidad and Tobago next.
Sunday’s match at the newly renovated Truman Bodden will be a scorcher in front of 3,000 screaming Caymanians urging the national side to victory.
Technical director Carl Brown expects nothing less than qualification to the next round against the Soca Warriors, Trinidad and Tobago.
‘We achieved the goal that we set out for in Jamaica,’ Brown said. ‘We got high level competition and we now have a set of players who have set high standards for themselves. To look at the players you would think that we had lost all the games. This augurs very well. They are now concerned about giving a quality performance.’
In the first game against Waterhouse the score was 1-1 after half an hour until the lights went off permanently from a power cut and the game abandoned. Waterhouse scored first and Richard Grant equalised. Cayman drew 1-1 with Duhaney Park and beat Boys Town Under-23 2-0.
Brown was impressed that although they did not lose, his players felt they could have done much better. ‘The results are not too important, it was the reaction of the players. We are just polishing up now. It’s about final preparations, fine tune everything.
‘Bermuda’s best players will turn up this time. We have been following what they’re doing. They played a game against the Colorado Rapids and won 2-0, so we know they’re intact – and that was without some of their better players. From all indications they will have everybody at their disposable on Sunday.’
Brown hopes that there is a good turn out of local support. ‘We’ll definitely need the crowd to get down there and be part of us. It’s very important that they fully understand the role that they have to play in this game. I want them to support this team to the fullest. They need every bit of encouragement. We’re getting ready to play for the Cayman public and they need to recognise that.’
All World Cup games are seating only. No one is allowed to stand. Every ticket has to have a gate number, section number, row number and seat number. The capacity is 3,077 and under no circumstances will that figure be topped.
Jeffrey Webb, president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, emphasised the crowd restrictions for this game.
He said: ‘It’s very important for us that we communicate this to the public. We want everyone to get their tickets as early as possible so that there’s a chance that you can sit down with your family.’
Tickets range from $10 in the East Stand to $15 in the West Grandstand. For those wanting to really splash out, there is a small VIP area where tickets are $80. Tickets are available at all Western Union locations and also Funky Tangs, Captain’s Bakery, Digicel (the chief sponsors) and Galleria.
Webb is hoping to not have to sell tickets on the day. ‘FIFA is asking that we pre-sell as many tickets as possible because any time you have a large gathering there is always the possibility of a hiccup. This is different for the Cayman public because everyone is so used to paying on the day.’