The Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club is sending two men’s and a women’s team to Chicago this weekend to compete in the 2015 North American Championships.
The club has been invited to compete in this annual event for the past few years and is lucky enough this year to enter the men’s teams in different divisions.
The Cayman A team will square off against Chicago Parnells on Friday morning, while the B team meet Charlotte B.
Later that day the women’s team face Denver. All matches are played in knockout stages, so a win is essential for teams to move forward to the semifinals on Saturday.
Both men’s and women’s squads have been training three times a week all summer in preparation. Teams from all over the United States and Canada will play over three days to produce a winner in each division.
Sean Lyne, a veteran of the game and proprietor of sponsor Whiskey Mist, is coaching both men’s teams.
“We have seen a huge improvement in standard over the last few months, where hard and dedicated training has paid off,” he said.
“All the teams we face have been playing in their regular season all summer and so are match fit and tuned in, whereas we wrapped up our league in June. After a narrow loss in the quarter finals to the eventual champions in Boston last year, we’re looking make a real impression this year, and hopefully take home a trophy or two.”
And it’s not just Irish who make up these Cayman teams. Caymanians, Australians, Americans, Scottish and other nationals are included, which shows the great interest and global acceptance of the sport.
The 2016 Cayman league will begin as usual in January, with the much anticipated LIME Mixed 9s one-day tournament kicking off the season.
For anybody interested in taking part and joining a team, visit www.caymangaa.com for more information.