Wizard’s spell works for Gillie

Of all the FA Cup first round games played last weekend, the most surprising was the 5-1 defeat of Future – a Premier League team – by Cayman Athletic Sporting Club.

Future are having an up and down season and this was a new low but it wasn’t so much them having a bad day, Athletic were simply brilliant.

Step forward head coach Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour, best known for developing Athletic’s youth sides but also doing a fine job with the senior side which has a perfect blend of experience and emerging talent.

Under head coach Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks, Future are no slouches when it comes to developing youngsters, but on this occasion, Athletic got it all right. Taking on Premier League opposition helped motivate Seymour’s side.

“As a coach with experience I do not underestimate any opponent,” he said.

“In fact, I have a lot of respect for my opponents and I ask my players to do the same, because without them we would not have a game. I also asked my players to stay focused, keep our shape and stick to the game plan – which I can’t reveal.”

Gary ‘The Wizard’ Whittaker scored the first and fourth goals, Dave McLaughlin Jr got the second from a penalty, teenager Matthew Suberan the third and Andre McFarlane the fifth. For Future, Paul Brown scored from a penalty which made the score 3-1.

“Matthew Suberan is one of our top Under-17 players,” Seymour said. “He was the top scorer in the U-15 league for the past two seasons and MVP in the 2009-10 season.

This season he is consistently scoring for our U-17 and senior teams. Other U-17 players that have been doing well with the first team are Santangelo Bush, Justin Henry, Martin Webb and Matthew Forrest.”

Seymour felt the tie was theirs after the third goal. Apart from great youngsters, he is extremely proud of the contributions seniors like Whittaker make.

“Gary is one of Cayman’s most technically accomplished players, who lots of fans come out to watch play. Our seniors are a pretty good team. With a little more technical and physical conditioning they could be better.

“We are in third place in both the promotional and overall standings with a game in hand.

Our key players are Whittaker, Stantan Clarke, McLaughlin, McFarlane, Kemar Scott, Ammini Anderson, Jamie Johnson, Ionut Bordieanu, Santangelo Bush, Suberan, Christopher Seymour, Michael Bonner and Kyle Santamaria.”

Despite the inspiring win, Seymour is not getting carried away. “We are taking the FA Cup one step at a time. This is our third time playing in the FA Cup competition and the first time going past the first round and into the quarter-finals, which is one way that we measure success at Cayman Athletic. We made history by achieving that success.”

He is pleased that Cayman Athletic is made up of 95 per cent Caymanians overall. “Our First Division team has nine U-21 and eight U-17 players on the roster.

“We are blending youth with experience just like any good company does and that is one of the contributing factors too for our success. Six of our players have been called to the Cayman’s senior and U-23 national teams – Andre McFarlane, Kemar Scott, Dave McLaughlin Jr., Christopher Seymour, Raheem Robinson and Nicholas Ebanks.”

The teams that have progressed to the quarter-final stage of the competition besides Cayman Athletic are Academy Sports Club, Bodden Town, East End United, Prospect United, Roma United and Tigers.

They will be joined by reigning champions George Town Sports Club, who received a bye in the first round.