U-17 national football team trains for CFU qualifiers

The Cayman Islands Under 17 Boys National Football Team before their practice game with Cayman Brac FC during their training camp in Cayman Brac in June.

The Under 17 Boys National Football Team travels to Sunrise, Florida on Tuesday, July 12, for a final seven-day training camp in preparation for Group 2 of the Caribbean Football Union Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers, July 20-24, at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

The training camp, funded by the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, will be attended by 24 players and six staff. The team returns on July 18, two days before the Cayman Islands play their first game of the CFU Under 17 tournament against Aruba.

The 24 players are: Albertini Holness, Jayden Downey, Shawn Scott (from Cayman Brac), D’Andre Rowe, Rohelio Wright, Jose La Rosa-Ebanks, Francisco Murillo-Johnson, Devonte Morejon, Oladapo Bailey, Jabari Campbell, Gonzalo McLaughlin, Kion Parchmont, Jamaar Frederick, Kareem Foster, Rico Bodden, Trey Ebanks, Jalen Walters, Kameron Mendez, Corey Mellaneo, Alex Clarke-Ramirez, Daniel Manderson, Cody Ebanks, Jahrion Bodden and Javier Ardila.

Staff accompanying the players are: Ernie “Gillie” Seymour, head coach; Ken Downey, assistant coach; Antwan Seymour, assistant coach and manager; Luis Morejon, goalkeeper coach; Dr. Verley Campbell, team physician; and Andrew Holness, equipment manager.

The team will be staying and training at the Sawgrass Grand Hotel and Suites, which operates a fully equipped training facility adjacent to the hotel. The squad will participate in intense physical and tactical training, and the coaching staff will be using this opportunity to select the final 20 players to represent the Cayman Islands at the Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers.

Former Jamaican and Cayman Islands national coach Carl Brown, who lives in nearby Fort Lauderdale, has arranged a number of practice games with club teams in the area for Cayman’s U-17 National Team to play against during the week.

Coach Seymour said, “We have been working on improving aspects of the players’ games, fitness and tactics for the past few months, and we will continue to push the players over the course of this week while in Florida. We want to simulate as best we can what the players will experience during the tournament.”

Tournament schedule

During the Under 17 tournament, the Cayman team will play Aruba at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, Puerto Rico at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, and Haiti at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24.

Winners from the first round will advance to the final round of the CFU Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for Sept. 18-25, with a chance to qualify for the CONCACAF Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers in February 2017. Four countries from CONCACAF will qualify for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup Finals in India in September and October 2017.

Organizers encourage fans to come to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex to support the team, whose motto during the qualifiers is “Support our Nation.”

For more information on the CFU Under 17 World Cup Qualifiers and how you can assist with the tournament, contact Neil Murray at 925-8793 or email [email protected]