More time to get fit for Digicel

The 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup
Championship Qualifiers, scheduled for next week in Puerto Rico has been
postponed for a couple of months.

The Caribbean Football Union’s
premier football tournament, the Digicel Caribbean Cup, will officially kick
off on 6 October with Groups A and B doing battle in Puerto Rico and Barbados
respectively. The Cup is a biennial tournament and the winner is dubbed the
undisputed champions of the Caribbean.

The 2010 edition of the Digicel
Caribbean Cup will be played from 6 October to 5 December and features 23 of
the best teams across the region. The tournament, which will be played in eight
venues, kicks off with 15 teams in Stage I. The best six teams of the first
stage qualify to the second round where they join DCC 2008 semi-finalists,
Grenada, Cuba and Guadeloupe as well as three other top regional teams;
Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda and Haiti. The finals will be held
in Martinique where qualified teams will meet the host national team or 2008’s
defending champion, Jamaica in a group stage before moving on to the
semi-finals and final.

In 2008, Jamaica, Grenada, Cuba and
Guadeloupe were the top four teams.

Head of Digicel’s Group sponsorship
division Karl Donnelly said: “We are delighted to be the primary sponsor of
this premier Caribbean event for the third consecutive time edition. We have
assisted the CFU in taking the event from strength to strength and believe the
2010 competition will be even better than before.”

CFU president Jack Warner said: “I
am extremely pleased that the Caribbean nations have once again risen to this
challenge. Digicel has grown to be one of the beautiful game’s strongest
supporters in the region.”

The top four teams in the
tournament will also qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Cayman Islands
national senior men’s team who will be competing against host Puerto Rico,
Anguilla and Bahamas. Cayman played two more practice games against local clubs
Jamaica Select and Honduras Select before resting for a week. Training resume
on Monday 15 August at a venue to be announced.

According to Technical Director
Coach Carl Brown this is a mixed blessings. Brown said: “This postponement has
its pluses and minuses. The fact that the team has been in training and had
their mind set and their bodies ready physically for the competition this news
is a disappointment. However, we are going to use this period to try and heal
some of the minor injuries and bring them back to full fitness in time for
October. The real challenge will be to get the players back up to the fitness
and mental level that they are at now, but with dedication we will get there.”

Companies interested in
sponsoring the national senior men’s team are asked to contact the CIFA office
at 949-5775 or email [email protected] or [email protected] for further
details.

SPORTSsoccerSTORY

Theron Wood will be in the squad.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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