Dwayne “Gaza” Wright cannot stop smiling. And he has every right to after topping the Premier League scoring charts for the third consecutive season.
Now, the 24-year-old Jamaican wants to test himself at a higher level, possibly in Major League Soccer.
The Cayman Islands Football Association held its annual awards ceremony at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort recently for the 2013 men’s and women’s football leagues. Awards were presented to winning teams, outstanding players, top trainers and referees and Gaza was a recipient.
The ceremony was attended by more than 400 people including Osbourne Bodden, the newly appointed minister of sports, youth and culture, major CIFA sponsors and representatives of the football clubs.
The association’s past achievements and future plans were also highlighted by CIFA first vice president Bruce Blake.
He informed the audience that the association has several exciting plans in the pipeline for continued growth and development of the sport and he thanked all in attendance, especially major sponsors Digicel, Foster’s Food Fair, Progressive Distributors and Maples and Calder for their support during the 2013 season.
Theron Wood deservedly earned “Player of the Year” honours for his contribution to Bodden Town’s double winning team. They won the Premier League comfortably, edging out champions Scholars International and also grabbed the FA Cup from Roma United.
Bodden Town were totally focused throughout the season because they wanted to win the league title in memory of teammate Gerome “Bird” Graham, who died unexpectedly from an undetected enlarged heart a year ago during training.
Their success was a great all-round team effort, but also because of the 20 league goals and one FA Cup strike by Gaza, who also received a special recognition award.
“This feeling is wonderful,” Gaza said. “Every morning when I wake up, I’m smiling.”
Gaza hit 12 goals for struggling Roma United in his first season, then 18 for Elite followed by 20. Then, last term, he found the net 21 times for Bodden Town in the league, plus two more in the FA Cup.
“Next season I’m looking for 30 goals,” Gaza said. “I made a few mistakes and I just have to put in the extra work and make the adjustments. Knowing that opponents are coming to stop me motivates me to try harder.
“A lot of people said that I should have got the ‘Player of the Year’ award ahead of Woody, but Theron had a wonderful season, too. He deserved it.”