The Cayman Islands national men’s Under-23 football team will be on a mission in Suriname.
There the team will be participating in the 2012 Olympic football tournament qualifiers scheduled for 3,5,7 August at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Paramaribo.
Cayman’s first encounter will be against one of the Caribbean’s top football challengers Jamaica on Wednesday 3rd at 17:00 hours (Suriname time). On Friday at 17:00hrs Cayman faces host Suriname and on Sunday they play their final game against St Vincent and the Grenadines at 16:00hrs.
This competition is geared to qualify teams from the Caribbean for the 2012 Olympic Games scheduled to be staged in London. Only one team from this group will be qualified to advance to the next level.
Technical Director of the national program Carl Brown is very optimistic and had this to say, “To be at the London Olympics in 2012 is our goal. It’s tough, but possible. Although the preparation has not been ideal the players have worked hard and are looking forward to competing with some of the best players in the region. We will be short of match practices going into the tournament and I am hoping this will not hinder the players from giving their best.
“We know very little about the teams we will be playing but they also know very little about us too. The nucleus of the team are also members of the senior team that took part in the Digicel qualifiers in Puerto Rico in October and this experience should serve them well. It will be tough but I am expecting a good performance for the team.”
Skipper Andre “Blacka” McFarlane has his hopes up high and is ready for the tournament. He feels that if the team executes what they have learnt so far in the training there would be no reason why Cayman Island should not shine.
“It’s an honour to lead the U23 into the Olympic qualifiers,” McFarlane said. “We want to go there and hopefully accomplish what we set to do and that is to win the tournament. If we execute what we have learnt so far in training and follow instructions we will shine throughout the tournament.”
The squad has been in rigorous technical and tactical training under the instructions of Brown and Fitness Instructor Thiago Cunha since March after forty players selected from the Cayman Islands Football Association Premier and First Division League were invited to the squad.
Despite the absence of most of the invites, the ones who showed interest built a momentum. They were also strengthened by the presence of overseas based players Theron Wood, Luigi Hernandez and Donald Solomon and the squad has improved significantly.
Advancing to the next level of this tournament would be history for the Cayman Islands. The football association thanks the government for their assistance in making this trip possible and welcomes any other business entities who are moved to come on board to assist.
For more information call