“Gold is tested by fire and human
character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. I believe in the character
of my team and I know the Cayman Islands National Under 17 Girls team will be
prepared for the real test when they get to Costa Rica in March.”
These were the wise words said by
Head Coach Bobby McLaren after the two friendly Girls Under 17 games played
between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica
last weekend. The games were part of the preparations for both teams going into
the CONCACAF Women’s finals next month.
Jamaica defeated the Cayman Islands 3-1 on
Friday and 6-0 on Sunday. Chelsea “Charlie” Brown scored for the Cayman Islands. Shenika Williams scored three times for Jamaica.
McLaren went on to say that his thought
on the results was that the benefits from these games will be seen in the
future pointing out that Jamaica
was the Caribbean Champions.
“The objective of those two games
was to give the players specifically the younger ones the opportunity to gain
the experience and the exposure playing against the best opposition in the
Caribbean before we head off to Costa
Rica. In any major tournament team depth is
critical. We split the team using half of our key players and half of the
substitute players to ensure we have a balance in our team preparation at that
“Despite our loss I am proud of the
“Never Say Die” attitude exhibited by my team and I am pleased of their achievements
as a team. We accomplished what we wanted giving the less experienced players
quality opposition before going to Costa Rica. Jamaica I am
sure got something from our camp as well, I thank the Jamaican team and the
crowd of supporters who were on hand to witness the event and cheer the girls
on in what was two very exciting evenings.”
The Cayman squad was made up of
Jasmine Ebanks, Tacita Berry,
Brianna Hydes, Brittany Mobley, Amanda Nelson, Marissa McLaughlin, Chelsea
Bush, Alyssa Chin, Shanice Monteith, Chelsea Greene, Chelsea Brown, Shanelle
Frederick, Monique Roberts, Brittany Bodden, Kaela Ebanks, Xotchilt Watler,
Nikki Ebanks Jettena Bodden and Courtisha Ebanks.
At the CONCACAF level in March, Jamaica will participate in group A which
consists of Canada Mexico and Panama
while Cayman competes in Group B and will face Haiti USA and Costa Rica. The three top teams
emerging from these eight teams will advance to the Women’s Under 17 World Cup
finals set for this summer in Trinidad.
The Cayman Girls reached this level
after defeating Bahamas 2-1,
dismissing British Virgin Islands 13-0 and losing to host Haiti 1-0 in a preliminary tournament held in Port-Au-Prince Haiti last year.
En-route to this finals they met
the Dominican Republic on their turf and drew 2-2 despite losing their number
one goal keeper Emily Kelly in the 25th minute of the game. Ashani Francis took
over from Kelly in goal and did a fine job as goal keeper.
Kelly back in goal at home the girls stuck to the game plan and the end result
of 1-1 was all they needed to for qualification to this level.