Athletic’s kids aim higher now

Cayman Athletic Sports Club’s youngsters have made an impressive start, and the club’s technical director, Ernie “Gillie” Seymour, believes words of advice from former national football technical director Carl Brown have helped establish his team in the Premier League against the odds. 

Seymour’s Cayman Athletic are undefeated three games into the season and share the top of the league table with Roma United after they battled to a 3-3 draw at the TE McField Annex on Sunday. 

In the last three seasons, Cayman Athletic has managed to stay in the top flight – albeit in the bottom half of the standings – but Seymour is confident that will change. 

“We are looking to be in the top four, not in the bottom four,” Seymour told Caymanfootball.com. 

“A lot of people told me that we would come up to the Premier League and go right back down. However, before leaving, Carl Brown told me, don’t go into the Premiership with the boys trying to win it, go in there to stay there; steal points from the big teams and try to stay above the teams at the bottom. 

Seymour added, “We have done that for three seasons. Now this season we are competing for a spot in the top four. The time has come for the boys to start stepping up.” 

Athletic is one of the youngest sides in the Premier League, but many of them have been playing in the top flight for a while, particularly national Under-20 Men’s team captain Matthew Suberan. 

Christopher Ebanks, Suberan and David Connolly got the Athletic goals. All are teenagers. Other talented youngsters in the squad include Kevin Foster, Martin Webb and Gillie’s son Jamaal Seymour.  

“The boys are maturing some more,” Seymour added. “Our teams want to compete now, not just stay above the relegation zone. The boys have changed their attitude towards competing in the Premiership.” 

The team’s maturity was evident when it came from behind for a draw against high riding Roma. 

“Our boys showed character by coming from behind two times in that game, Seymour said. “Young players tend to lose their composure, but they didn’t give up.” 

Key to the team’s success has been the early season form of striker Connolly, who has scored four times already and is the leading goal scorer in the Premier League. 

While happy with Connolly’s start, Seymour still expects more. 

“It is natural for him to score goals,” Seymour said. “His physical conditioning is not in the position we would like it to be, but his goal scoring continues to be what it was since primary school football.” 

Cayman Athletic’s start to the season has sent notice of a possible change of the guard in the Premier League, but the veteran coach insists “it is a long season.” 

He added, “We can’t judge right now who will be the outright winner because of how the league has started. Look for powerhouses like George Town to bounce back in the rounds to come.” 

Christopher-Ebanks2

Christopher Ebanks scored Athletic’s first against Roma.

Jamaal-Seymour

Jamaal Seymour has learned well from his dad. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD