Men's U-23 national team heads to Olympic qualifiers

Team travels to Haiti in June

The Cayman Islands Men’s Under 23 national team is preparing to step up its game for the opening round of football qualifications for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  

The team will travel to Haiti in June for the qualifiers against Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis and Barbados in Group 1 of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers. 

“Our Cayman Islands men’s Olympic team is positively looking towards facing another challenge,” Renard Moxam, director of national teams, said in a press release. 

“The boys will embrace the opportunity in being called to represent our country and are proud to participate in the Olympic movement by way of these qualifiers. The Cayman football public can rest assured that they will give the games their best effort towards possible success.” 

Moxam and head coach Alex Gonzalez want to use this opportunity to continue training young talent on how to play at the highest level. 

“We have six members of the senior men’s national team that participated in the first round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Belize playing with the Olympic team” CIFA First Vice President Bruce Blake said in a press statement. 

“The experience gained against Belize will be valuable in the Olympic qualifiers in Haiti. I see no reason why this team cannot advance out of this group.” 

David Connolly leads the Cayman team’s strike force. 

The 20-year-old ended the recent Premier League season with 22 goals, seven more than second-place Rolly Bodden. 

Seventeen teams are contesting the Caribbean zone in the qualifying competition in four groups. The winner of each group advances to the final round of the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in August at a site to be determined. 

The group winners contest the CONCACAF final round tournament against automatic qualifiers Canada, Mexico and the United States. 

The top two teams from the CONCACAF final round qualifier automatically qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics Men’s Football Tournament for CONCACAF. 

The third-place finisher in the CONCACAF qualifier will contest a playoff against a team from the South American Confederation CONMEBOL for the final berth in the Olympic Games. 

David Connolly

David Connolly, 20, leads the Cayman team’s strike force.

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