Schools kicking ahead with own tournament

Private school footballers are set to take centre stage at Camana Bay.

Thursday 3 February marks the start of a seven-a-side football tournament. The Cayman International School field hosts the competition, which is put on by the Private Schools Association of the Cayman Islands. Games take place 10am-7pm. Eight schools are taking part in the competition in Cayman Academy, Cayman International, Cayman Prep, Grace Christian Academy, Hope Academy, St. Ignatius, Triple C and Wesleyan Academy.

Most of the squads are confident heading into the today’s contests. Cayman Prep teacher Des Matthews had a hand in the organisation of the tournament. He states the tournament is a chance to showcase Prep talent and build school spirit.

“The local football scene for players aged 13-18 is dominated by Cayman Islands Football Association registered private clubs,” Matthews said. “This means it is difficult for school teams to be created as the majority of players play regularly for clubs.

“School teams cannot enter a football association competition unless they are aligned with an existing club. This limits schools options for creating teams that can play regularly and thus weakens school football for all private schools, Prep included.

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“However, for those students who are perhaps not yet ready for club football/not quite good enough, we wanted to expand the options for them and all students. Thus we think the tournament, taking place as an annual event, will encourage growth in schools football (particularly from ages 13 upwards) and will improve the variety of competition offered on the island.”

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