The Digicel Cup in Cayman is great for helping local players develop in another form of competition.
National technical director Carl Brown said: ‘The Digicel Cup means continuous football for the players which they need to develop, especially in competitive matches like these.
‘We can train for the whole year but everything shows up when you actually start playing.
‘Mistakes come to the fore and its good to be able to correct them in practice. This is great for the players, it’s what they enjoy the most.
‘We can’t always afford to bring competitive teams here on the island so this is better for them.’
Brown feels cup football is a welcome distraction. ‘We grow up hearing about the FA Cup and the excitement that it brings to English football and how teams in England prefer to be the victors of the FA Cup instead of the League Cup.
‘We don’t have the luxury of lesser teams playing in this competition with the possibility of them beating the bigger ones, but nevertheless it’s good for competition. You’re aware at the back of your mind that if you lose this one you’re out of it completely.
‘That’s what makes it so exciting. It sometimes makes a team crumble or can bring out the best in others.’
Cayman have climbed 28 places in the FIFA world rankings in the year under Brown’s stewardship. He deserves a lot of credit for that.
‘I’m feeling really good in what we have achieved this year and hopefully this will be a great platform for next year. Everybody involved in the game should feel pleased with what we have achieved this year.
‘We want to get better in 2009 and maybe see a few more international games, both home and abroad. We’re trying to one game a month and it’s basically all down to finance.
‘We need to get more people to feel a part of it. That is the way forward and it can only work if the clubs are cooperating.
‘I want my players to continue not just winning matches but to continue playing some exciting football to attract both crowds and sponsors.’
Digicel’s marketing director Casandra Harris said: ‘This competition is another avenue for the coaches to watch the players and assess their development.
‘Coach Brown has a chance to look at the raw talent of these guys who are all friends together to get on the football field and have fun.’
Harris is proud that Digicel has got involved in the Caribbean’s No.1 sport.
The regional Digicel Cup finals kick off in Jamaica today and although Cayman did not make it past the second round, judging by the way they are improving, next year could be a possibility.
‘Digicel spends quite a few million every year in the Caribbean on football. And we have just solidified as well the Honduras football team to sponsor them. We’re also involved in the Honduras-Mexico World Cup qualifier later this month which is a huge game.
‘For Digicel, one of our goals is not only to be in the community but to also develop our youth and football can contribute to that.’