Women footballers in the Cayman Islands will now get an exciting opportunity to forge links with one of the top women’s clubs in the United States after a deal was signed last week.
Football Club Indiana’s officials were here to sign an agreement with the Cayman Islands Football Association to become their Caribbean women’s and girls’ football development partner, promising opportunities for Cayman’s women players to attain the highest level in the game if they have the potential and desire.
This is fantastic news for Cayman’s women players, especially juniors who want to emulate the likes of Shanel Gall and Emily Kelly who have achieved football scholarships to US colleges.
The agreement was signed by CIFA president Jeffrey Webb and Shek Borkowski, manager and head coach of FC Indiana, at the Cayman Centre for Excellence in Prospect. Other CIFA officials there were vice-president Peter Campbell and general secretary Bruce Blake.
FC Indiana is a highly respected women’s professional club based in Indianapolis. They are one of the most successful clubs in America, having won two league titles and two Open Cups in the past five seasons. They have been league runner-ups twice and cup finalists twice and can boast victories against national teams of Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Canada.
Webb said: “CIFA is very excited about this opportunity to partner with FC Indiana which has been around for a long time and has been very successful so far. We have agreed to have the Under-17 and Under-20 girls introduced to FC Indiana’s development programmes and clinics. This club has full professional teams.
“I am tremendously excited about this partnership as it has significant opportunities for our young and aspiring players. The camps will also be beneficial to our sports tourism exposing the contents of our beautiful islands. This alliance is unique and is expected to provide unprecedented educational, financial, inspirational and developmental opportunities for both entities.”
Borkowski when asked why he chose the Cayman Islands said: “We looked to identify a partner who is committed to women’s football development and who is making good strides in women’s football.
We had considered two to three other countries but made a decision to partner-up with Cayman.
“We were impressed by the action we saw during the CIFA women’s FA Cup final last Sunday and identified five good prospects on display. I am convinced that the Cayman Islands will continue to improve and achieve good results.”
The agreement begins next month and is for five seasons with a mutual written option for a three year extension. FC Indiana will provide the football association with one position on its board of advisors.
FC Indiana will monitor Cayman players from next season and will provide opportunities for players for their teams beginning at the 2012/13 season. FC Indiana intend to have a minimum of three CIFA players to be included at all times on their professional rosters.
Each year during the term of the agreement, FC Indiana and the CIFA women’s senior team will have two friendly matches. Matches will be played in Indiana and the Cayman Islands, with all proceeds going to the home team.
CIFA’s development programme is extensive. As well as this one, it is introducing the grassroots and beach football programmes shortly.