West Bay is blessed with three of
Cayman’s best football teams and when the season starts next week Elite will be
fighting just as hard to usurp Premier League champs Scholars International and
improving neighbours Future Sporting Club.
Scholars recently went on a
week-long pre-season tour of Cuba and Elite did the same over a long weekend
only it was in La Ceiba, Honduras. They crammed in three matches in five days
with varying results.
Against Quinta Real, Elite lost 2-1
with their goal coming from Rene Carter who was on the score sheet again in the
next match in the 1-1 draw with Racing Goloso. Elite finished the tour with a
1-0 victory against a combined team from La Ceiba and Guanaja United. Dwight
‘Gaza’ Wright was on target for them this time. The talented left-sided midfielder
has moved from Roma United and is one reason why Elite have every confidence
they can reproduce the form of two seasons ago when they won the league and Digicel
Cup and were finalists in the FA Cup.
Along with some established
seniors, the trip was excellent experience for the talented youngsters knocking
on the first-team door.
Head coach Marcos Tinoco said:
“Everyone made an excellent performance and I would name the youngsters as the
superb ones. They were the goalkeeper Danner Nelson, who is 15, Jermaine
‘Tiger’ Wilson, (15) and Clement Patterson (18).” Tinoco will be the head coach
for the Premier League team in a voluntary basis. Overall, it was a worthwhile
trip and gave Elite the opportunity to bond and find that extra fitness edge.
Besides those already mentioned,
the playing squad included; Gabriel Godet, Darrin Ebanks, Brennan Ebanks, Nahun
Scott, Jedd Ebanks, Alex Belcher, Wilmer Ayala, Leighton Ebanks, Brian Scott
and Michael McLaughlin. With Tinoco were Martha Godet (club president), Greg
Ebanks (technical director), Tiger Wilson Snr (assistant coach/medical) and
Julisa Barnes (medical).
Elite faltered last year, finishing
mid-table, but Tinoco is sure that they can challenge the top sides this time.
“We always expect to be champions and win all competitions but we know our
limits and weaknesses. We are working hard to fix them and improve our game to
be able to challenge our opponents. George Town and Scholars International are
always the best teams in the Island and the most difficult to beat. They have
great players and very good programmes.
“We expect our national players to
perform well this season and give the team a lot of confidence and energy. They
are Carter, Jairo Sanchez and Darrin Ebanks. Gaza will give us a lot of hope in
the attack as he was the second best scorer in last year’s Premier League. We
have also some very good young players from last’s season U-17 team that won
the FA Cup. They’ve joined the team to give us some strength and support, and
we’re expecting big things from Tiger , Patterson, Nelson and Brennan Ebanks.