As someone who has been associated with the Cayman Islands for the over 20 years, it is with a sad heart that I write this letter. I started coming to the Cayman Islands in 1989 as coach of the Boys Town team that was invited to play a couple games against the Cayman Islands National team and returned in 1991 to participate in a football camp put on by then technical director Winston Chung–Fah.
I fell in love with the place and the people and with a group of young men who have remained in my heart since then. Clarkie, Richard Flores, Marlon Bailey, Manlio Connolly, Carlos Connolly, Marlon Goddard, Ken Downie, Gifford, Chisholm, Michael Miles, Wizard, the Wilks, and one very special little one by the name of Anthony, they will always remind me of what could have been if only we had done something for them.
Why are they so important to what is happening today?
Simply because we are making the same mistakes all over again. They were the future of football in the Cayman Islands and we failed them, failed to provide the necessary tools that would help them to fulfil their dreams, failed them because of petty squabbles among ourselves, failed them because they were never important. Some among them were bright boys and did not sit around and sulk but used opportunities to go off to school and have done themselves proud by getting themselves qualified to get decent jobs. But just stop them anywhere you meet them and they will tell you how sad they feel that we did not help them to become the best that they could become. I returned to the Islands as technical director in 2007 with a lot of enthusiasm (which is slowly going away) and of fulfilling a long desire of working with the players of the Cayman Islands. To say that I have been disappointed is an understatement not with the players and the association but with the separation of the football fraternity. We are so afraid to speak good about each other it hurts to the bone; wonder why there is so little support from the private sector?
Well, just listen to yourself speak to someone about the game, about other coaches, about other clubs, about your club president, about your players and you will find out why. The Islands are so small that once you open your mouth everyone hears, your voice is being heard by those that can help us, there must be something good that has happened over time that we can speak about.
The present crop of players we have will continue the story that has been told if we continue to ignore their cry for help. Let us all commit ourselves to create a better environment for the young men and women who participate in the game; there are opportunities awaiting them, we just need to properly prepare them to meet the challenges that will come along with these opportunities It is time for the Carson story to be put behind us, and we have in Matthew Subbaron, Sebastian, Kevin, Carl, Joshua,
Luigi just to name a few players who can change all that have happened in the past to something very positive in the future.
Recently I read a story in the Compass of a young lady who took part in something she is regretting that she took part in, and it just brought home one of my greatest fears, that if we don’t do something for our young men urgently a lot could be telling a similar story in the near future. The time is now, let us put them before all the differences we have had in the past and help to save some, even one will do. Not long ago it was the ball or video games or girl, today it is either the ball or drugs and guns. Which will we offer?.None of US is stronger than ALL OF US. Peace and God’s blessings upon us all.
Technical director Cayman Islands Football