Indiana will kick start locals

Women’s football in the Cayman Islands gets a tremendous boost this week from the visiting FC Indiana who are one of the world’s best women’s club teams.

FC Indiana has signed an agreement with the Cayman Islands Football Association to be its Caribbean women’s and girl’s football development partner and has promised commitments towards Caymanian women’s teams and players with the establishment of an exchange programme.

Founded in 2000, FC Indiana is based in Indianapolis. They only first fielded a women’s team eight years ago but in that short time have become one of the most respected sides globally, winning everything in sight. They joined the Women Professional Soccer League in 2005 and the W-League four years ago.

Indiana have won two league titles and two Open Cups in five seasons and been league runner-ups twice and cup finalists twice. The team has defeated the national teams of Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Canada.

The American side is here from Thursday until 17 March for a pre-season training camp and will be training on the beach in the mornings and at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex at 6pm. They will play friendly matches against local women’s sides and be looking at the local talent with the aim of signing a few to professional contracts.

Top Cayman striker Shenel Gall who is currently away at university in the States will return home to attend the training camp to be assessed by Shek Borkowski, Head Coach of FC Indiana, and his coaching staff.

Gall is relishing the opportunity. “I have a lot of emotions going on about this tryout, but I am very excited about it.” she said. “This is the opportunity I have been waiting on. I am very thankful for getting it and I just want to thank everyone who has put in the effort to make this happen. My goal in football is to achieve the highest level I can take myself too. There is so much out there to learn and take in, and I’m always willing to do that.” Thiago Cunha, CIFA Women’s Technical Director, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity for our women clubs and proves that Caymanian women’s football is stepping up, as we have attracted professional clubs to our islands to scout our players.

“I’m very happy that Shenel has been targeted by FC Indiana, as we have been working together to develop her skills since she was 11. This is also a fantastic opportunity for our women and girl players and coaches to come out to see a professional club train and play.”

Jeffrey Webb, President of the CIFA, said: “Everyone is delighted with the opportunity to have a professional club joining us to support our women football development, and we are looking forward to making this agreement more productive after this first step.”

FC Indiana will play three games at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex against Cayman Islands women’s teams, as follows and admission is free.