The Cayman Islands Football Association sent Head Coach Bobby McLaren and Team Manager Gloria Gall to Haiti recently as part of the preparations for the National Under-17 Girls trip there.
They will be competing in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying/Caribbean Football Union Under-17 Girls preliminary round games next month.
McLaren and Gall were met by Chairman of the Women’s Football in Haiti Monique Andre.
The hotel where the girls will be staying is in central Port Au Prince parallel to the Haitian Presidential Estate and is fully patrolled with adequate security and has an oasis effect based on the tranquil environment found within.
The team menu was provided to ensure that the team’s nutritional needs are met. Both Gall and McLaren had meals there.
The girls will be transported by a bus compliment of the Haiti Football Association.
The National Stadium is approximately seven minutes away from the hotel. This venue seems to be in good security standings with artificial turf similar to the ones on the Cayman Islands as well as changing room facilities.
A fully equipped hospital and medical centre is within ten minutes drive of both the Plaza Hotel and the National Stadium. Observations made at this facility proved that it was clean, security was tight and the staff appeared professional.
McLaren said: ‘Overall the stage is set for a comfortable trip as the supermarket is also near to the hotel and has the basic needs available in case we need additional items for the girls. We are hoping by the help of the almighty that we will have a safe, incident free and successful trip to Haiti.
‘Based on the hospitality and high level of the organization of the Haitian Local Organizing Committee I have no reservations regarding our participation in the FIFA Group A World Cup qualifying games in Haiti.’
The Cayman U17 girls will participate in Group A with Haiti, British Virgin Islands and The Bahamas. The competition kicks off next Monday and ends 6 November. The team leaves the Cayman Islands on Saturday.
The squad includes Shanelle Frederick, Brittany Mobley, Marissa McLaughlin, Emily Kelly, Marie Chin, Brianna Hydes, Chelsea Bush, Shanice Monteith, Ashani Francis Collins, Ashley Borde, Tacita Berry, Kaela Ebanks, Chelsea Brown, Ann Watler, Chelsea Greene, Chloe McLean and Ashleigh Shim.
The winner and the best second placed team will advance to participate in the CONCACAF Qualifying rounds in December.
Mexico, Canada, USA and a host of Central American countries have already qualified for this round.
The young girls should have passed this stage in Trinidad earlier this year, but were hampered by the outbreak of the H1N1 virus in that country. Since then the girls have kept up the pace in training very hard in all areas of the preparations and are very keen on getting to the next level of this qualification.