Bodden Town Football Club will represent the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Football Union Club Champions Cup when they face Puerto Rico’s River Plate Football Club in the competition’s preliminary stage later this month.
Bodden Town will play two games against River Plate at the TE McField Sports Centre, on 18 and 20 March, starting at 7pm,
The CFU Club Champions Cup is an annual competition held between association football clubs from across the Caribbean. Bodden Town qualified for the tournament as the runners-up in last season’s Cayman Islands Football Association Premier League. Premier League champions Scholars International declined to participate in the competition.
President of CIFA Jeffrey Webb said: “I am happy that the Cayman Islands will be represented in international club football as we have been absent for 15 years. “I thank and congratulate the leadership of the Bodden Town and the Bodden Town community. This is a huge investment and opportunity for the players and the Bodden Town fans. On behalf of CIFA I congratulate them on the decision they have made and we promise to support the team as best as we can to make this a success.
“I am confident that with concentrated preparations these young players can create a stir at this international level when they face Puerto Rico’s River Plate Football Club.”
It is the competition’s fourteenth edition and CFU general secretary Angenie Kanhai is confident that this year’s tournament will be exceptional. “After 14 years, this tournament has grown from strength to strength and I am confident that this year fans will be in for a treat,” Kanhai said. “Club football in the region is developing and the football displayed at this year’s knock-out tournament will be testament to that fact.”
In addition to being crowned the Champions of Caribbean Clubs, the Club Champions Cup winner, second place and third place teams will automatically qualify to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Bodden Town manager Kennedy Kelly said: “I am happy for these players who train very hard on a daily basis. This is definitely a good exposure for them on the international scene. These two games will be tough challenges but coach Elbert will be applying his coaching skills meticulously to prepare the team for this international challenge. The team is getting ready and building their confidence.”
The club is distinguished for developing youngsters and two of their best – Luigi Hernandez and Theron Wood – are now playing for the semi-pro club Ashford Town in the United Kingdom.
Kelly added: “It is the team’s first international game since it was founded in 1970 and this is indeed a timely exposure for them as two of the players have gone on to play for Ashford Town in London.
“This is a solid testament of the expertise of coach McLean. We will face River Plate with good intentions and do our best in representing the Cayman Islands.”
Bodden Town are in fourth position in the Premier league and their leading goal scorer is Arvid Harris with nine.