Technical Director of the Cayman Islands National football programme Carl brown is optimistic, that the Adopt-A-Player programme instituted by the corporate community will guarantee higher levels of success internationally.
Since February, the Cayman Islands has sky-rocketed 30 places up the Federation Internationale Football Association (FIFA) world rankings.
This achievement was possible despite the financial constraints. It’s clear that this crop of players have formed the platform for the next stage in the development of football on the island.
Their persistence and unblemished efforts to rise 30 places in less than one year is enough evidence to prove that there is a reservoir of talent good enough to become professionals.
According to Brown if each of the companies here takes the giant step in adopting just one player each following in the footsteps of Jamaica and other countries who have that project, the results will be rewarding and well worth the endeavour.
‘If a player is adopted by the company where he works he would be compensated for the times he travels to participate in games and when he trains during work hours,’ said Brown.
‘In so doing this he would be mentally and physically stable. This peace of mind would emit greater drive in the player’s efforts the end product would definitely be a higher level of performance.
‘It has been years since these players have been haunted by the penalty of losing their jobs, a day or week pay because their companies don’t support football.
‘It is stressful for these players and the association when they have to travel without pay and the association out of basically nothing has to pay them for the days they were absent representing the island.
‘What compounds the situation is that they are forced to utilize their vacation sometimes to facilitate international competitions.
‘The love for the game by these players should be appreciated and the private sectors need to do their part now. Get on board now while these players are in high gear.’
‘Adopt-A-Player in your employ encourages them to fulfil their dreams and take the country to the next level. They are trying hard they need the mental and financial support to deliver.’
Brown points out that over the years since he has been visiting the island he has seen remarkable talent gone to waste as skilful and youngsters move towards getting a job and sticking to it sidelining the game as a profession.
He feels that youngsters like Donald ‘Naddy’ Solomon Jr, Gabriel Godet and Jedd Ebanks would benefit from this programme.
‘There is light at the end of the tunnel and the football programme is desperate to go forward.
‘We have young players coming up that compete at international level such as the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 players. Give them a purpose to draw their attention, help them to help the country to be a force to reckon with in football.
‘Every country is placing special efforts on football it’s a universal sports. Let’s start to put the pieces together moving forward to the day when players are paid to play football on the island. This is where Jamaica started and to date they are among the best teams in the CONCACAF region.
‘As a result of this Adopt-A-Player programme the island now has 56 professionals playing all over the world in countries like England, Norway, USA, China and Sweden just to name a few.
‘The long-term results of this programme will be reaping a great deal of financial benefits for not only the families of these players but for the entire country.
‘Cayman has the talent the players has the interest and are focused now, capitalize on their energies and encourage them with your participation.
‘It will be a successful investment in the future. It wont take very long to materialize I can attest to that I have seen them come a long way in a short time and they can reach much further with this adopt a player program.’
Canover Watson, Treasurer of CIFA also had his say on the idea stating that he strongly supported Brown’s suggestion pointing out that this move would be a significant investment in the youth on the island.
‘The football programme is representative of the Cayman Islands’ passion for sports and with the wealth of talents presently on the island this would be the most appropriate approach to take which will bring major rewards in the future,’ he said.
‘It is financially challenging for CIFA to adequately fund all the various national programmes with the current financial resources.
‘Corporate partnerships such as the Adopt-A- Player Programme would definitely be a boost for these players who need that support to improve their performance and receive the much needed international exposure for their development.’
CIFA is appealing to the corporate community and the stake holders to give the national football programme full support. of potential.