Team’s coach is stymied

As an avid football fan and supporter, I was extremely disappointed with the performance of the Cayman National Team in the game against Bermuda.

The Bermudan team played a mediocre game so what does that say about our national team’s performance?

Their performance, except for a couple of the guys who made some effort, was extremely lackadaisical.

Should we blame Carl Brown? Of course we should.

However, the Caymanian coaches who insist on putting their sons in the team or their friends’ children or their club members should also be blamed.

Should we look at who makes up our national tam? Do we know who they are? Are they interested in Cayman sufficient to want to make an effort on its behalf or is the selection in the National team the means to an end?

I strongly believe that we have some excellent players in many of the local clubs. The problem is that these players are young, enthusiastic, have a desire to win, are proud of their country and want to play. So, the selection committee opts not to use them to represent Cayman. They prefer the older players who complain about the time they have to spend in training, who complain about discipline, who complain about the heat, who complain and complain about every living thing, and then go out and give a half hearted performance and guess what, the sports writer of the Caymanian Compass and many of us make excuses for their lack of national pride and football skills!

The fans – we should also blame the fans. The fans only scream and shout for their team when a goal is scored or something spectacular happens. Our fans need to learn that their shouts of encouragement consistently throughout the game act as a motivator for the team.

We hear about the players that are brought home to play. Apart from young Tatum who plays for Academy Football Club who we see training with his club whenever he gets home, these few other players that are selected to represent Cayman do not come home during the summer to play with any local clubs or to train with the national team so where is their commitment and loyalty? Yes, if they are affiliated with an international club they need permission. Understood!

However, what about the other players who are studying overseas who never get called home; who are playing football overseas with teams that are winning their competitions; who are consistently in disciplined training programmes and who bring a wealth of skill and commitment to the game?

I can name four Caymanian players who would give anything to be called home to play but as I was told they are not domiciled here so they cannot be included in the squad. Not domiciled here, in this case, means that because they are away at school furthering their education. Not domiciled here means that they are not sons of coaches or friends of coaches’ sons so they are not selected.

Look back at Cayman’s coaching history. All the best coaches that were brought in have left.

Could it be that they were forced or felt that they were forced to choose unqualified, incompetent players for the national team based on whose children they were or what the local coaches wanted regardless of their ability? Could it be that the national coach who should have the responsibility for selecting the team is given a team that he would not have chosen?

When politics is removed from all of Cayman sports, we will then see our youth being given better opportunities to show their worth; we will then see an improvement in the selection of players and there will be fairness in the selection process. Then we will see Cayman winning at something and with huge success.

J Gooding

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