The Cayman Islands national senior
men’s team returned to the islands last week with encouraging results from an
interesting tournament in Group A of the Caribbean Football Union Digicel
Caribbean Cup qualifiers in Puerto Rico. Cayman drew 1-1 with St Martin, came
from behind defeating Anguilla 4-1 and lost to Puerto Rico 2-0. Mark Ebanks and
Paul Brown got two goals in the tournament. Theron Wood got the other.
The relatively young team had to
play in poor weather conditions which resulted in a slippery and muddy field.
They braved the odds, bonded and combined to emerge with a well earned four
points over three matches. As second placed finishers to Puerto Rico, they
still have a chance of continuing to the next round of the Digicel Cup,
depending on the results of the other matches.
According to technical director
Carl Brown the team’s inexperience played a major role in the results but they
did try their best and that was good enough for him.
Team manager Mark Campbell said:
“Basically, it was very impressive for me to see what a young Cayman Islands
team can do in a competition of this calibre. Definitely, this team with the
experience of playing more international games will get better and compete
exceptionally well within the CONCACAF and CFU region.
“The character of the team even
when they were down to ten men (against St Martin when keeper Jermaine Brown
was sent off) was brilliant. They fought to the end with resilience just like
soldiers with a high level of pride. My greatest desire is to see them get over
this slim chance into the next round, as this would motivate them to the next
level which will bring awesome results.”
Fitness trainer Thiago Cunha said:
“I am very proud of the Cayman team, they performed well physically and
technically during the tournament. It was tough for them to perform in the kind
of conditions they played. They were committed and played as a unit. It is sad
that they were not able to put away more chances and win the zone but they
tried hard and I am pleased. I was very proud to see them compete and fight
hard to the end in the Digicel Caribbean Cup games in Puerto Rico.”
During the 2008 Digicel Caribbean
Cup competition Cayman got to the second stage of the competition and moved up
the FIFA rankings. This glory might just be relived if the team gets to the