Cayman Brac go into this weekend’s game against Elite Sports Club anxious not to be defeated a second consecutive time having done so well in their opening game of the season.
Brac have to play their games in Grand Cayman at the Bodden Town field, which is where they drew 2-2 with reigning champs Bodden Town three weeks ago with a storming late surge, coming back from two goals down.
But against Roma United last weekend, Brac held their own until they conceded two late strikes and lost 2-0.
Brac were promoted to the Premier League this season having finished behind Roma in the First Division last term.
Harold “Mitchum” Sanford is the Brac technical director. He said that the lessons learnt so far are to be more consistent, treat every game as if it’s a cup final and from a coaching and management perspective they cannot deviate from their original plans because of past performances against certain teams.
Brac are favorites to be relegated but their plucky draw against Bodden Town shows they have the spirit to defy the odds and possibly survive the drop.
Goals will be hard to come by although centre forward Stephen Tatum has shown flashes of brilliance. Midfielder Denrick Gayle and captain Carlos Matute, a centre back, scored the Brac goals against Bodden Town.
“Survival in the Premier League for us is adapting and making the required changes to our playing style as we are no longer in the First Division,” said Sanford.
“Playing in Grand Cayman for several weekends at a time over a nine month period gradually wears down the players and coaching staff.
“Although it is only a short flight over, the effects sometimes last for days.”
He added that many of his players make many sacrifices each weekend to get off work early which reduces their salaries, loss time away from family, changing of shifts at work if necessary, returning early Sunday morning to continue work, weekly out of their pocket expenses and a lost weekend of personal recreation and home life.
“The sacrifices that the players and coaching staff of Cayman Brac make to be in the Cayman Islands Football Association Leagues are ten times more than Grand Cayman teams,” he said.
“I take full responsibility for the loss against Roma last weekend as I returned to what worked very well against them last season. New season, new players and different league equals lesson learned.” Sanford added that preparation for Elite is going well.
“We look forward to this very first encounter for Cayman Brac against a senior Elite team.”