Coconuts smash US kids

The Cayman Coconuts recently won a three-on-three football tournament in the US.

Following on from their successful 2011 campaign, where they won the Under-10 National Championship in July followed by the World Championship (Silver division) in January 2012, both at the ESPN complex in Orlando, the Coconuts entered the Challenge Sports Three-on-Three Tampa Regional U11 Tournament in May.

The Coconuts, featuring Christian Dyer, Jona Narborough, David Pitcairn, Aaron Jarvis and D’Andre Rowe, settled into the tournament early and won three of their four group games, drawing one against a disciplined Arsenal team, scoring 33 goals and letting in eight. Having won their group, the team qualified for the semi-finals, where they won a competitive game 5-1.

The final was against the previous years champions, Saints Football Club. The Saints took the lead three times in the first half, but each time Cayman responded to draw level and the score was tied 3-3 at half-time.

Cayman came out strong in the second half and scored early to take the lead. In spite some late pressure from the Saints, the Coconuts held on to win 6-5. What was unique was that all five players scored a goal, with D’Andre Rowe bagging two. The youngsters have now qualified for the 2012 National Championships to be held at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in August.

Coach John Pitcairn commented that the recent victories in Orlando and Tampa have given the team a top 30 ranking in their age group category in the US, resulting in much closer scrutiny from opposition coaches and administrators.

For the record, three-on-three football consists of two, 12 minute halves and games are played on a 40 yard by 30 yard pitch. The goals are four feet high and 8ft wide. Teams consist of three outfield players with no goalkeeper. There are kick-ins instead of throw-ins and substitutions are unlimited.