Brown should bring back vets

The debate over what direction Cayman Islands football’s national team programme should go in is still raging and Radio Cayman’s sports reporter Nikolai Hill has added his views to the mix.  

Cayman lost all four Group A CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers with a generally young and inexperienced team under coach Carl Brown. Hill believes Brown should not be too proud to recall veterans who are still good enough to win matches at international level and give some other youngsters a chance. Hill plays for Scholars International and not so long ago was a national team striker himself, albeit a non-scoring one.  

Cayman has lost some established players recently because of eligibility issues. They include keeper Jermaine ‘Whacky Dip’ Brown, Leighton ‘Rumpy’ Elliott, Rene Carter and Oneil Taylor.  

“We didn’t have our best players against El Salvador last week (Cayman lost 4-0) and you have to look at the reasons the coaches and the Cayman Islands Football Association are not attracting the best,” Hill said. “One reason is budget. We didn’t play any friendlies in the build up to the last two matches and also players deserve to get at least a stipend to help with their training expenses. 

“Coach Brown complained that players didn’t come training until the last few days, but they deserve an incentive. I know we’re amateur, but everywhere in the world players get at least a stipend for playing for their national side. Respect must be given to the players for putting the hard work in after maybe a hard day at work.  

“I would like to see players like Carson Fagan, Tom Elliot, Phillip Berry, Justin Pierre and Eric Brown recalled. They know how to win. Youngsters like Abijah Rivers, Davey McLaughlin and Dan Kelly deserve a chance too.” 

General feeling in the Cayman football fraternity is that Brown got rid of the senior players too quickly and bought in youth, and now complains that they don’t show. These are the players he chose and now it’s too late to bring some of the seniors back because his exit strategy for them was non-existent. 

People have complained that outstanding players like Pierre and Rivers are not showing and should be forced to play but ignore the fact that it’s not because they don’t want to, or that they don’t have any national pride, it’s because they feel they’ve been badly treated in the past. 

One former player said: “Brown’s philosophy of building from the youth makes sense, but his reasons for it and the way he’s going about it is wrong. I personally believe he’s entrusting the youth mainly because they won’t resist him in any way.” 

Tom Elliot Cayman

Tom Elliot has settled in quickly at Scholars International.


  1. FINALLY some airs the truth. This article is spot on and very fair. If a manager loses his players respect then he might aswell move on, Cayman MEN’S Football have lost players that is a fact. Anyway enough negative talk, I am still proud of our Mens team, i know they fight for us. Also congrats to the Women, 4-0 against Suriname! CGNT for LIFE.

  2. Anyone with a shred of honesty within them and a history with Caymanian football can verify that what Nicolai is saying here is the truth…

    And was the truth 20 years ago, with two past generations of players…a footballers shelf life spans between 10-15 years of playing, after which, its over.

    He hasn’t mentioned the nepotism, favouritism and abuse of players by CIFA and its coaching favourites that has plagued Cayman’s football before his time either.

    Even when I was the only footballer in Cayman earning financial rewards through being a player, though not from playing directly, the selection of Cayman’s national team has never, ever been along fair or professional lines…and when the best players have had enough and speak out, they are cut from the program.

    For a very short, limited amount of time, Winston Chung Fah changed the way things were done before him but was booted from the job soon after because he actually picked Cayman’s best players and motivated us to play for him and the national jersey, not CIFA.

    A German coach who led Cayman to being the 4th best team in the Caribbean in 1995 was fired by CIFA for basically the same reasons, picking Cayman’s best players over CIFA’s chosen family member and friends players; this is no secret in Caymanian football circles.

    CIFA has survived through the control of the youth leagues, their schools and their parents…and there will always be young players to put in a national jersey and ‘send to the slaughter’ like so many innocent lambs, when up against seasoned, professional opponents.

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