Top level field hockey is on its way this weekend with three international teams arriving to play against the Cayman Islands.
The second Annual Cayman Islands Field Hockey Tournament is at the Camana Bay sports field on 19-20 May. The Cayman Islands Field Hockey Club is hosting players from the United Kingdom, United States and Jamaica and follows the closely fought and highly enjoyable Fun at the Turf tournament in Kingston, Jamaica last November.
This year’s Cayman tournament will consist of eight games over the weekend and promises to be an exciting and challenging event with men’s, ladies and mixed teams competing for bragging rights and the coveted Alex Horner Memorial Trophy.
Ladies captain Bryony Platt, said: “The tournament is always a great weekend and we have a strong squad of experienced and committed players who have been working hard throughout the year”. Platt is especially proud of the success of the women’s team during the Fun at the Turf tournament and is hoping for great things from the team in this tournament. “We were very successful in Jamaica as overall winners in the ladies division and I hope that we can repeat that success here.”
This tournament also sees the much anticipated return of one of Cayman’s star players, Andrew Cousins, and welcomes several players who are making their debut in the Cayman international squad.
All members of the club are confident of success and although the matches will be hard fought, they will also be played with the usual camaraderie that is typical of this inter-Caribbean event.
Vice President Nigel Bates said: “We have come to know our Jamaican opponents very well and their skills on the field are always impressive but more than anything with this tournament we look forward to our mixed teams being a true international mix where we all join in together for some great hockey.”
Cayman goalkeeper James Robertson, a relative newcomer to the sport, knows all about mixing it up. Since taking up field hockey on his arrival from the UK only three years ago, he has made a lasting impression on both his team-mates and his opponents.
Robertson’s determination to keep a clean sheet in international matches has not gone unnoticed and in a true sporting gesture, Cayman has agreed to send him out on loan to their Jamaican adversaries for this tournament.
Robertson said: “I don’t know that there are many people who can say that they have played international hockey for the Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the same tournament and if anyone is worried about my impartiality, I’ll happily show them the bruises received from my Cayman team-mates the last time I played in goal for Jamaica.”
Men’s captain Miles Perryman is also expecting a strong performance from the Cayman mixed side in the competition for the Alex Horner Memorial Trophy.
An integral part of the tournament, this will be the third time that Cayman and Jamaica have competed for the trophy and as the score currently stands at one apiece, it is certain to be an thrilling and hotly contested match.
“As a squad we are looking forward to welcoming the Jamaicans back to Cayman and our main priority is to win back the Alex Horner Trophy,” said Perryman. “It is fair to say that we were gutted to lose the trophy last November and now we are fully focused on wresting it back.”
The club also hopes to build on the success of these tournaments and expand the event to include more teams from the region in the future.
“We invited teams from Tampa and St Maarten Hockey Clubs who were unfortunately unable to join us,” said Bates. “Hopefully, they’ll be following the weekend through our Facebook updates and will be able to come along next year.
“We would also like to thank the Ministry of Sports for their continued support as well as the Department of Tourism, Jacques Scott, Foster’s and others for their sponsorship.”
There is also the anticipation that the tournament will help to promote the sport locally. Platt said: “This is a great way to have fun and create awareness of field hockey in Cayman and so we would like to invite everyone to come down and take part in the weekend and hopefully encourage new players and children to become involved with the sport.” For more information visit www.caymanhockey.com or like Cayman Field Hockey on Facebook.
The Cayman Islands Field Hockey Club plays twice a week, 5pm on Tuesdays at Cayman Prep on Smith Road and 6pm on Saturdays at the International School in Camana Bay and all are welcome.