Football coach Roy Huta Ebanks was also impressed with the form of the Cayman Islands side in the Digicel Cup.
Greg Ebanks, another veteran coach, praised in this paper yesterday how well Cayman did in the recent Digicel Cup when they won one and drew two to go through to the next round in Guadeloupe next month.
Huta, a previous critic of the set up of the Cayman squad who did not approve of the heavy reliance of overseas-based players, saw some encouraging signs. Huta is the head coach at Future SC in West Bay.
‘Cayman did well,’ he said. ‘Now let’s see if they can build on top of this.
‘They called in quite a few Under-20 players. We need to give them the exposure.
‘Without a proper development plan and everybody working off of it, can we continue the success? It’s one thing to get success one time but it needs to continue.’
Huta is not convinced because the national youth sides struggled in international competition recently.
‘Our youth teams at U-17 and U-20 levels didn’t do too well. That’s a better barometer of how we’re progressing. If the youths can do well then we have a better long-term future.
‘I was glad there was a stronger local input in the Digicel Cup. Dion Brandon, the Future SC captain, skippered the national side and that was a great achievement at such a young age. He is 22.
‘It inspires others who have the right attitude towards training, nutrition, coaching and playing. They believe they can achieve great things too.
‘It was nice to qualify for the second round for the first time in ages, but where do we go from here?’
On a domestic level, Huta is focusing on this Sunday’s Ed Bush Trophy final between Boatswain’s Bay and West Bay Central. It’s at the West Bay Primary School Field, kick off 6.30pm.
West Bay Central have already won the Arthur Ebanks League and like Manchester United, hope to complete a unique double. ‘The league has made a tremendous contribution to community spirit here in West Bay,’ added Huta. ‘Everybody says we should start it much earlier next year so that it can go on longer.’
Huta has a talented crop of youngsters coming through. Michael Johnson and Jessus Ebanks started football scholarships at King College, Tennessee last week. Striker Mark Ebanks will try out for a similar scholarship in January.