Cayman’s female footballers got an insight into the professional side of the game when FC Indiana played three matches here last week and for one lucky local it led to an offer of a pro contract.
Shenel Gall is only 20 but she has been Cayman’s top woman striker for years. FC Indiana had been monitoring her for some time and with a final tryout when they visited, she got the dream offer. Indiana are one of the most celebrated women teams in the world. This is a golden opportunity for the youngster.
Gall said: “I’m really excited. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I never thought it would happen but it has. I still feel that to play as a professional is like a fairy tale. It’s always been my dream.”
Gall started playing football at Catholic primary school. She didn’t take it seriously until the age of 12 when she joined the national football team programme. As she progressed and impressed a scholarship offer came to play at a US college culminating in the FC Indiana contract.
“As a player you want to make an impact on a club and that’s what I’m hoping to do, but I’m still young and have a long way to go. I have to develop a lot but hopefully when I get there I’ll make a lasting impact.”
The Indiana players are generally tall and lean, quite the opposite body shape to Gall. But she is not worried. “I’m not intimidated. It does play a factor when a shorter player faces a tall opponent but that’s why I have to have a strong upper body but I do have the advantage of speed and lower centre of gravity when I dribble past.”
Gall will go into training camp in May and the season starts soon after.
“This opportunity is amazing because it opens so many doors, not just for me but for other girls in Cayman. I’m going to be so shocked because I’ll be playing against girls I’ve seen on TV and being on the field with them is a once in a lifetime experience.”