Newly promoted refs have World Cup ambitions

Nolan ‘Falcon’ Foster and Swason
Owen are the two newest Cayman Islands referees to make it on the Federation
International de Football Association list for January 2010.

Foster, a Jamaican and former
Kingston College top athlete during the period 1989 to 1991 started his referee
career in 2005 after migrating to the Cayman Islands.

Although not an enthusiastic
footballer he coached an Under-13 team in the Pepsi Sponsored School Boy
Football League at the Greater Portmore High School in Jamaica and was Sports
Director at the Portmore Community College for eight years.

Foster, who holds a degree in
Physical Education and Sports and joined the Cayman Islands Referees Association
with the intention of participating in this for a hobby. He got hooked and has
since been officiating in youth, women’s and senior leagues.

Foster said: “I am proud and
excited but a little cautious of officiating at the international level, once I
get past this I know I will be on my way to the next level.

“I am anxious going into my first
real international game as I have only officiated in one friendly game between
the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

 “I thank the members of the association and my
colleagues for their support during my transition to this level and promise
that I will continue to represent the Cayman Islands with dignity.”

Owen is a sports enthusiast and
former head boy of the Balaclava High School and past student  Knox Community College in Jamaica.

He has refereed since high school
and had an early ambition to make it on the FIFA list.

“I played quite a number of sports
during my time at the Balaclava High School,” Owen said. “I was Captain of the
DaCosta Cup football team from 1998 1999, Captain of the school’s Cricket team
played Basket ball, Lawn Tennis and did well at athletics.

“I retired from active sports early
due to an injury. It was not easy to stay away from sports as it was my passion
from my childhood days, so I started to officiate at football games at the
tender age of seventeen in my parish St Elizabeth Jamaica under the advice of
the now deceased President of the St Elizabeth Football Association Courtney
Brown.

“I have not looked back since and
it a pity Brown is not here to see his efforts come to fruition. I thank God
for helping me to reach this level something I have yearned for from ever since
I started.

“Special thanks to the members of
CIRA, CIFA and the executive members for their support and I can assure them
that I will never let their efforts go in vain.

According to president of the
referees association Alfredo Whittaker both ref have exhibited the ability to
do well at this level. He has no doubts that they will make the Islands proud.

Whittaker said: “I am really pleased
to have Foster and Owen on the FIFA referees list. They have taken up from
where the other FIFA representatives left off. They will join Dwayne Ebanks and
Kenville Holder in representing the island at a professional level
internationally.

“I am positive that with the
supports of CIRA, CIFA and their colleagues they will continue to excel. I wish
them all the best and I am looking forward for a successful 2010 with this new
team.”