McLeish here for Centre

The guests list for the Cayman Islands Football Association Gala Dinner for Excellence is rapidly expanding, with confirmation that Alex McLeish, the manager of newly-promoted Birmingham City, will attend.

McLeish has been in charge of Birmingham City for just 18 months, and has secured promotion to the English Premier League at the first attempt, finishing second in the Coca Cola Football League Championship.

McLeish was introduced to CIFA president Jeffrey Webb during his relationship-building tour to England in March.

Webb was promoting the Cayman Islands as a sports tourism destination and specifically the Cayman Centre for Excellence as a potential training location for English Premier League teams, and McLeish asked to be kept up to date with all future developments.

The former Scotland manager said: ‘It is a fabulous honour for the Cayman Islands that FIFA will be coming, and I am looking forward to seeing how the project has progressed.’

McLeish said he would be interested in bringing his team to Cayman in the future depending on how the development advances.

‘We are always looking to expand into the global market and forge ties with other federations and associations around the world.’

The 2009 CIFA Gala Dinner for Excellence is being held at the Ritz-Carlton on Friday June 5 to celebrate the visit of FIFA President Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter, who is visiting to officially open the Cayman Centre for Excellence on June 4.

He will be joined by several members of the FIFA hierarchy, including President of CONCACAF and FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner, FIFA Vice-President Geoffrey Thompson, and the FIFA Deputy General Secretary Markus Kattner.

The Cayman Centre for Excellence development in Prospect is a long-term vision of CIFA to provide the Cayman Islands with state-of-the-art training facilities for our national teams.

All proceeds from the dinner will be put towards future development of the centre.

Tickets are available for the Ritz-Carlton event at $150 per person. Anyone interested in attending should contact Alastair Kay at [email protected].