Ian Lindo leads the Cayman Islands senior men’s national team into battle against Suriname on Friday, 2 September.
The match is Cayman’s opening 2014 World Cup qualifying game at the Andres Kamperveen Stadium in Paramaribo, Suriname. Cayman was drawn in Group A of the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers, which are scheduled to end in November.
The other countries drawn in the group are the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Suriname. All of the countries will play home and away games for a total of six games.
Lindo represented Cayman internationally at all age group competitions. He has been part of the senior team on several occasions and has captained the 2010 Cayman national team during the Digicel Caribbean Cup Championship when Cayman won one game, drew one match and lost one game but failed to advance to the next stage due to a lesser goal average.
The soft spoken Lindo is the only son of James and Valerie Lindo and has been playing football from he was just six years-old. He began playing with St. Georges youth team, which was affiliated with the St. Georges Anglican Church. Ian’s next stint was with Club National FC, which was coached by veteran football figure Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour.
He subsequently moved on to join his current club, George Town SC and has assumed the role of captain, leading the team to back-to-back titles in the Digicel Cup and the FA Cup.
After graduating from John Gray High School, Ian worked for two years before attending the Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. With the help of a scholarship he received through football, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is currently employed as a Cooperate Administrator with the DMS Group.
According to Ian, he has a lot of confidence in his team and will be leading them with pride against Suriname on Friday.
“I am extremely proud to be captain of the national team,” Lindo said. “It is my first time as captain at this level and I will be playing my role with pride. I have a lot of confidence in my team. We have trained together for a long time, under the instructions of coach Carl Brown and our fitness instructor Thiago Cunha. We are not going to allow their efforts to go in vain.
“We have been training together and playing together for a long time now and I am fully aware of what the other teams are capable of doing. We just have to go out there collectively with one goal in mind, which is to win and make our country proud.”
During the last World Cup qualifiers in 2008, Cayman created a stir by drawing 1-1 in an away game against Bermuda and only needed a draw to advance to the next stage. The team lost the return leg however the game saw the entire island come together to support the players in what is remembered as an historic event.
The team departed for Suriname on Tuesday 30 August and is scheduled to return on Saturday 3 September to face El Salvador on Tuesday 6 September at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex at 7.30pm. Players and coaching staff are eagerly anticipating the match-up against El Salvador, who are currently ranked 75th in the world by the FIFA. The game will be televised throughout Central America and the United States.
Mark Campbell, manager of the Cayman men’s national team, is very proud of Lindo and reminisced on Lindo when he was younger.
“Lindo has a passion for playing football,” Campbell said. “I have watched him mature into a great player who has managed to use his skills to be a successful Caymanian. It would be very interesting to see other talented players, both boys and girls, emulate Ian’s approach. They can place Cayman at a higher level in this global sport while making themselves marketable with meaningful careers.
“I have no doubt that Ian will lead his team into these six World Cup qualifying games and make a statement with his performance. Ian is a respectable, disciplined young man who has become an ambassador for the Cayman Islands. In the future, I hope to see the other young players follow his footsteps and play and use football as an avenue to excel both academically and as a sportsman.”
The rest of the squad that travelled to Suriname are Mark Ebanks, Theron Wood, Donald Solomon, Luigi Hernandez, Andre McFarlane, Nicholas Ebanks, Jedd Ebanks, Benjamin Cupid, Ramon Sealy, Leighton Elliott, Demion Williams, Dwayne Wright, Jairo Sanchez, Rene Carter, Richard Brown and Jermaine Brown.
Tickets for the first home game against El Salvador at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Tuesday 6 September can be bought at the following outlets Fosters Food Fair, Western Union, Funky Tangs, Captains Bakery, Party Land (next to Little Darlings), the football association office in Prospect and Sports Port LTD (on the waterfront in George Town).