Bodden Town have to of the most important matches in Cayman Islands football history this weekend and to ensure they are at full strength they have recalled from England two of their best players who are playing semi-professionally in west London.
Striker Theron Wood and defender Luigi Hernandez have been with Ashford Town since November and done so well that after a trial period they were offered playing terms with the club and will play with them until the end of the season which ends in May.
George Town defender Donald Solomon is the third player doing well at Ashford Town and he arrives back with the other two for national team training. All three will return to Ashford Town on 30 March until the end of the season in May.
They have also trained with or had trials at Premiership clubs Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers and at the Tenembee Academy in London. All four are grateful to the Cayman Islands Football Association and the Government for funding their trip.
Future striker Mark Ebanks went out with the others last year but had a spell of injury and couldn’t settle and returned in January.
Wood and Hernandez are here to play in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship Cup competition on Friday and Sunday at the TE McField (Annex) Sports Centre. Both kick offs are at 7pm against Puerto Rican side River Plate.
The CFU Club Champions Cup is an annual competition held between association football clubs from across the Caribbean that are affiliated to the CFU.
Bodden Town qualified for the tournament as the runners-up in last season’s Cayman Islands Football Association Premier League. Champions Scholars International declined to enter the competition.
Wood, Hernandez and Solomon play nationally for the Under-23 and senior teams and are already seasoned players at those levels.
Elbert McLean is Bodden Town’s head coach and thankful that he has his two best players back for the vital games.
He said: “I am extremely delighted to have Theron and Luigi back. This will definitely strengthen the team and the experiences they gained in the UK will be an asset to us. It gives my heart great joy to have them back for these two very crucial international games.”
Before he left to return home, Wood said: “I feel good coming home to play for Bodden Town against River Plate. I anticipate a great game. I will be assisting my team to reach the next level and beyond in this competition. I am really excited to get there to display the additional skills I have learnt in the UK. I am going to do my best to help Bodden Town to live the dream of going forward in this CFU Club Championship Cup competition.”
Hernandez said: “I want to help not just Bodden Town but my country as well to go forward globally. Cayman has a lot of talented footballers; we just need to be committed and take the game seriously. We can compete successfully with any other country if we are focused.
“I want to show the other players that we all can make our mark on the international scene if we are serious. Playing for Ashford has done a lot for me and I will be sharing it with Cayman.”
Solomon said that he is happy to be coming home to support his Ashford team mates in their efforts to help Bodden Town win both games and go to the next levels and to train with the national team under the training of his mentor and motivator technical director Carl Brown.
“I am happy to be coming to Grand Cayman to see my family and friends and support my team-mates. I will also be training with the national team during my time on the island. I’m happy that I got the chance to make this journey to set a stage for other talented players in the Cayman Islands.”