Cayman Islands footballer James ‘Paddy’ Ebanks says he ready to represent his country.
The West Bay native is part of the national Under-23 team that has six upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifying games scheduled to start on Friday 2 September in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Cayman was in Suriname earlier this month playing three 2012 Olympic qualifiers. Ebanks states Cayman needs more training and support to have success.
“We have to train hard to play these World Cup games, these teams are physically fit and the competition will be very tough,” Ebanks said. “We need more players out at the training and more commitment to the national program. The coaching staff at the national level is very supportive and we as young talented Caymanians need to do our part.” The recent fixtures distributed by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football show Cayman playing six matches against Suriname (2 September and Friday 7 October), El Salvador (Tuesday 6 September and 11 October) and the Dominican Republic (Friday 11 November and Tuesday 15 November).
Ebanks is focused on advancing in this stage of World Cup qualifying. He feels that head coach Carl Brown and assistant coach Thiago Cunha need everyone’s best efforts to keep Cayman from being at the bottom of the rankings.
“We need total support from the Caymanian community, we need a better fan base. We should be a supportive unit encouraging each other whether we win or lose. It makes no sense for us to be out there fighting so hard on the football field representing our beautiful islands only to hear our own Caymanian people saying negative things about us. I am tired of getting the feeling that they don’t care about us. We need the support from all the coaches from the clubs as well. Encourage the players to come out and train hard to play and make our country a force to reckon with in sports overall.
“We can do it, the potential is here. We need sponsors to come on board to help us as young people and the future men and women of Cayman to represent their country at the highest level.” Ebanks is a defensive midfielder who normally plays for Future SC. He has been playing football from time he was nine years old and has been trained by coach Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks. During the days he works as a fire extinguisher technician assistant at Fire Extinguisher Pros, a local company owned by former national player Arden ‘Cheeky’ Rivers.
Rivers, who mentors Ebanks, states the young man is a talented football player who could easily use his skills to become a professional player or further his education. “Paddy is a young, talented and excited football player,” Rivers said. “I hope he will come to the reality that he can use football as a vehicle to further his education as well as to become a professional football player. If he continues to be passionate about football, have a high work ethic and attitude and displays these qualities on and off the field of play, nothing can prevent him from achieving these goals.”