Ambitious footballers in Cayman now have the option of trying to play for the national side in beach soccer as well as the regular 11-a-side code.
The inaugural Beach Soccer Open Cup at Public Beach was a great success last weekend with 17 men’s and women’s teams competing.
A new beach football league will be created soon by the Cayman Islands Football Association and by next year a national team will be formed and international tournament staged here.
Benjamin Cupid played in the tournament and the Elite Sports Club defender loved it.
“The beach football tournament was fun and a great event which should to be hosted every year,” he said.
He only had minor criticism. “The event could have possibly been improved by better use of time in terms of delays between games and a little more organization, but it was the first event of its kind held here so setbacks and delays were expected.”
Cupid added that the players he spoke to enjoyed it and they are eager to play in events like this on a regular basis but they also felt the officials needed more experience as well.
He was a regular pick for the national side until they stopped playing games three years ago and is looking forward to the revival of competition in the near future.
“I’m eager to play in both beach and regular football as we currently don’t have a men’s national team program,” Cupid said. “I’m sure it would be a little hectic to try and play for both teams but, hopefully, competitions for each will be at different times giving players willing to play both codes a chance to train and prepare for each event.”
The 26-year-old Caymanian works at the Credit Union having graduated in business management from the University of South Florida six months ago.
Now settled back in Cayman, Cupid intends to help Elite become a force again. They were Premier League champs a couple of years ago and Cayman’s dominant side for a while but only managed to finish fifth out of eight teams this season, although they did win the FA Cup last month.
“After a rough season, I’m looking for Elite to bounce back and do well in the upcoming season,” said Cupid. “The players are not pleased with our performance this season and eager to get back into the swing of things and prove our place as one of Cayman’s best clubs.”
He added that Elite can be better than it was a few years ago because they still have the same core of players who are now older and more experienced.
“My ambitions for football for now is to continue playing for the national team and try to have some success in competitions that Cayman has not achieved so far but with there being no national program football is starting to become just recreational for me.”