Prep’s goals make them top class

The end of an exhilarating CUC Primary Football League regular season came last Saturday.

This season marked a first for the PFL with five schools completing their hectic schedules undefeated, and from those five, four schools topped their respective groups.

Most impressive of the undefeated teams was Cayman Prep’s Under-11 team who scored an incredible 44 goals while conceding only six in Group A.

What added to this feat was that the majority of these youngsters were enjoying their first year of U-11 football.

Only a year ago, these players had felt the sting of defeat as they lost the U-9 Champions Cup to St. Ignatius Prep 1-0.

Another welcome addition to the list of undefeated teams was Cayman International School’s U-11s, who posted a perfect season in Group A, winning six of six against more than creditable opposition. Rounding off the top four in Group A and heading to the U-11 Champions Cup in January 2009, are St. Ignatius Prep, the boys from the West – John A. Cumber Primary and George Town Primary. Advancing to the U-11 Consolation Cup will be Bodden Town Primary, Truth For Youth and the disappointing Savannah Primary.

In Group B of the U-11 division, last year’s Champions Cup winners Cayman Prep, again advance to the Champions Cup, to defend their title along with beaten finalists from 2007/2008 Prospect Primary, Red Bay Primary and Triple C.

An impressive First Baptist, along with Grace Wesleyan, North Side Primary and East End Primary will contest for the U-11 Consolation Cup.

In the U-9 division, three undefeated schools, St. Ignatius Prep, Cayman Prep and Red Bay Primary, each finished with 16 points and recorded identical records, winning five and drawing one.

In Group A, last year’s U-9 Champions Cup winners St. Ignatius Prep, scored only seven goals in six games while conceding none on their way to topping the group. Finishing with 16 points, St. Ignatius Prep edged second-placed John A. Cumber Primary by a solitary point.

Joining these two in the U-9 Champions Cup will be the surprising Truth For Youth youngsters, as well as Bodden Town Primary, who squeezed by fifth-placed Cayman International School on goal difference. Playing in the U-9 Consolation Cup will be Cayman International School, George Town Primary and Savannah Primary.

In Group B, Cayman Prep and Red Bay Primary finished the regular season with identical records and points, but Cayman Prep managed to win the division on goal difference, scoring 17 and conceding only one, with Red Bay Primary scoring 13 and conceding three. Joining the two undefeated schools in the playoffs will be Prospect Primary and First Baptist, a first for the Golden Eagles. Advancing to the U-9 Consolation Cup will be Grace Wesleyan, Triple C and East End Primary.

With the regular season complete, supporters of ‘the beautiful game’ look forward to an entertaining set of playoffs, which begin on January 10 and continue on January 17, 24 and 31, with the Finals on February 7.

The format of the much-anticipated 2008/2009 PFL playoffs has varied slightly from previous years with schools participating in a second round-robin tournament with teams from Group A playing teams from Group B in the respective Cup competitions. For instance, in the U-11 Champions Cup, teams who finished in the top four in Group A – Cayman International School, St. Ignatius Prep, John A. Cumber Primary and George Town Primary – will each play the top four teams in Group B, namely Cayman Prep, Prospect Primary, Red Bay Primary and Triple C.

Following the conclusion of these games, the two teams topping each group with the most points will play each other in the U-11 Champions Cup Final, and the teams finishing second in the groups will meet for third-place.

A similar format will be followed for the U-11 Consolation Cup, U-9 Champions Cup and U-9 Consolation Cup. A playoff schedule will be circulated to coaches before the new year.

And so another chapter closes on another successful and entertaining CUC Primary Football League regular season.

Despite a few wet weekends and postponed games due to passing storms, the season did not disappoint.

Fabulous goals, nail-biting finishes, exceptional individual and team performances, big games, highs and lows, surprises and disappointments – we witnessed it all.

Organiser Neil Murray of CUC said: ‘The glory of participating in the CUC Primary Football League has always been representing your respective schools to the best of your abilities and not just the results.

‘Developing Cayman’s youngsters is what coaches should be focusing on, after all we’re dealing with seven, eight, nine and ten year-olds whose first priority is to enjoy playing the game we love. Bring on the playoffs!

‘Special thanks to the League’s contributors, Progressive Distributors and Le Bleu, who have graciously provided much-needed refreshments for the players throughout the regular season and will again be there during the playoffs.

‘A vote of gratitude for the officials who volunteer their time for the betterment of the game ensuring players respect the rules and regulations.

‘We especially appreciate the level of support from parents and fans alike and we encourage more parents to take the time out and cheer on their young superstars and respective teams. There is no greater joy than to watch the CUC Primary Football League. We’ll see you in January.’