Football is the national sport of
the Cayman Islands and with the recent English contracts dished out to young
talents it is set to increase its stature even more in 2011.
The home of the Cayman Islands
Football Association, the Cayman Centre for Excellence, has been engulfed with
an atmosphere of joy and happiness this month. Four national players who went
to the United Kingdom in November were offered the opportunity to remain in
England with Ashford Town (Middlesex) Football Club until the end of the
football season. They are Mark Ebanks (of Future Sports Club), Donald Solomon
(Cayman Athletic SC), Luigi Hernandez and Theron Wood (both from Bodden Town
Football Association President
Jeffrey Webb feels the signings are a boost to Cayman football and that the
sport can produce more pro talent in the future.
“This is remarkable news for the
football association and local football as we go into a New Year,” Webb said.
“We at the football association are tremendously pleased with the reports that
we have received regarding the interest and the efforts that these players have
shown over the past month. Credit must be given to their parents and the
coaches who made positive impacts on the early stages of their football
“I thank Ashford Town (Middlesex)
FC for giving them an opportunity to remain in the UK and I am sure that they
will continue to excel to higher levels. This is a start and we have at least
six other players who will be introduced to the UK and other countries with the
same intentions soon. The Cayman Islands government and the Minister of Sports
in particular, have played a fundamental part in making this a possibility. For
this we say many thanks.”
The players were in the UK with the
help of the Cayman Islands Government, the Minister of Health, Education,
Youth, Sports and Culture the Honourable Mark Scotland and Cayman football Technical
Director Carl Brown.
According to Brown, despite the
culture shock and the poor weather conditions, the players have demonstrated
that they are true Caymanian ambassadors and have represented the island well.
“The entire Cayman Islands should
be proud of these four players; they have been a credit to their past coaches,
to the football fraternity, to their immediate families and to people of the
Cayman Islands,” Brown said. “These four young men have been very positive
training and playing extremely hard. The people of the Cayman Islands should be
very proud of what they have achieved so far. The continued support for these
players is critical as to how much more successful they will become during
their stay in England for the rest of the season.”
All of Ashford Town’s training
sessions and matches are open to scouts and representatives from professional
clubs and they have an excellent record of players being offered opportunities
with clubs at all levels of the British league system. This will be good
exposure for these players who have already been introduced to Birmingham City
FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and the Tenembee Academy in London.