The Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town is the place to be this Ash Wednesday February 25 when tough Elite SC takes on recurrent champions Scholars International at 7:00pm in the finals of the 2008-2009 Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) Digicel Knock-Out competition.
Their last outing in the CIFA Premier League competition last Sunday ended 1-0 after eighty four minutes of goalless action at the Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay.
Rene Carter a former player of Scholars International’s was the player who made the deference in that grudge game sending a free kick out of the reach and sight of the Scholars International goal keeper to give his team all they wanted to win that game.
Scholars International is no strangers to this final having won the title on the very first season that it was sponsored by Digicel and several other times as well. Elite on the other hand are making their first debut since the three years of their participation CIFA competitions.
Elite are presently at the top of the league table with 28 points and are creating waves in the football community as the toughest team to date. Players such as of Donavan Godet, Rene Carter, Calvin Jefford and Gabriel Godet, Jairo Sanchez and veteran Arden ‘Cheeky’ Rivers to name a few will be Scholars International’s nightmare as they try to get pass their defense line and into goal.
This will definitely be no easy task as former national player Romeo Thomas in central defense backed by Phillip Berry, Fabian Malcolm, Horace Nelson and O’Neil Taylor will I am sure, be doing all that is possible to keep the charging tough youngsters as far as possible from their goal area.
Scholars International now has twenty points and is locked with George Town in third position after a late start in winning their games. Since they returned to winning ways they have been a force to encounter and will not be taking this final easy.
Gregory Ebanks coach of Elite while thanking the sponsors Digicel said that the preparation for his team began this week as they are setting their goals to achieve this title for the first time.
‘First I want to use this opportunity to thank Digicel for their sponsorship and hope that they will be on board for as long as ever. My team preparation starts this week as we try to put the finishing touches in place to win this title. Scholars International and Elite has great depth to achieve good results on Ash Wednesday.’
‘The key elements for Elite are just do exceptionally well and come out as the champions. I am looking forward to see a fast paced game for the duration of the match. It will be very interesting and the general public will be in for a good treat on Ash Wednesday evening. I am inviting everyone to come out and watch a great game,’ commented the soft spoken Ebanks.
Antonio Smith the Technical Director of Scholars said that after thirty years of success Scholars International team was not afraid of any other team on the island.
‘After thirty years of success as a team Scholars is not afraid of any team on the island. Elite are the blood of Scholars therefore we expect a tough competition. We are triple champions and have always been a tough team to play.’
‘Any team facing us in a final will have to be on the look out. I know that Scholars will rise to the occasion and perform well on Ash Wednesday.’
Elite dismissed defending champions Roma FC from the competition in its preliminary stages and after a 0-0 first leg score line with George Town in the semi finals went ahead in the second leg to take a spot in the finals with a 3-2 result.
Donavan Godet scored a hat-trick on that Sunday afternoon to land his team into the finals for the first time. Last season Elite were knocked out in the semi finals by Roma.
Scholars International meant business from the first stage of the competition turning back Sunset 1-0 in the preliminary stages and going on to beat Future 2-0 in their first leg game.
They had to fight back desperately during the second leg game as Future FC came out trying hard to get pass them in that game. The game ended 3-1on aggregate qualifying them for a place the finals and the opportunity of having a chance to try to cop that coveted title for the second time.
Chris Douglas, Lorenzo Brown, Phillip Berry, David ‘Starky’ Harding, Rodriquez Nahun and Kingsley Wellington are players that are expected to carry the task of taking on tough Elite who have carved out a niche for themselves in the CIFA Premier League competition and are now leading with twenty-eight.
This game will be a tough game as Elite are known for finding the back of the net with the least chance they get. Scholars International on the other hand is always an attacking team that never gives up until the final sound of the whistle. This game will be worth the while.