With a renewed focus on developing and improving\ national youth football programs, the Cayman Islands Football Association will be sending the Cayman Islands Girls’ Under 15 National Football Team to compete in the 2018 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 Championships, scheduled for Aug. 6-13 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The Cayman squad will be participating in Group E in Division 2, and will play the Bahamas on Monday, Aug. 6; Guyana on Tuesday, Aug. 7; and St. Lucia on Thursday, Aug. 9.
The young players will have the opportunity to advance to the Division 2 semifinals on Friday, Aug. 10, and the final on Sunday, Aug. 12, if they top their group. Finishing second, third or fourth in the group will guarantee at least a consolation game.
The Girls’ Under-15 National Team has been together and in training since October 2017 under the tutelage of Head Coach Alexander Gonzales and Assistant Coach Shakeina Bush.
With approximately 30 girls in the current Under-15 squad, the team of 18 players have been selected by the coaching staff based on the satisfaction of a number of expectations and selection criteria.
The 18-strong team include: Chloe Bentick-Lalli, Kayla Bradley, Alexia Bromfield, Artemis Deslandes-Hydes, Riley Doyle, Kalie Ebanks, Raeanne Ebanks-Hydes, Shuwayne Fyne, Kasey Golding, Molly Kehoe, Kiara Lemay, Satiah Miller, Lilly Powery, Hannah Scott, Ethana Villalobos, Nassaria Whittaker, Katriona Williams and Shayana Windsor.
Commenting on preparations, Assistant Coach Shakeina Bush, who also serves as the chairperson of CIFA’s Women’s Committee, said: “The young ladies have been training hard and have proven that they have the commitment, dedication and correct attitude required to be called national athletes. They have been preparing for this tournament for the past 10 months and are looking forward to competing.
“Under Head Coach Alexander Gonzales they have been developing their technical and tactical understanding of how we want them to play as a national team.”
Miss Bush added, “I am excited to see how the young ladies will do in this tournament and look forward to the future development of these athletes, as well as those players who will return to training when we return from this tournament.”
CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker said, “This is the first of several national teams that will be competing this year in international tournaments.
“In addition to our Under-15 Girls, we also have our Men’s National Team preparing to compete in the CONCACAF Nations League in August and our Men’s Under-20 National Team preparing to compete in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup qualifying in November.”
With a large contingent of parents, family and friends planning to accompany the team to Florida, the Cayman Islands will be very well represented, organizers predicted.
After the tournament, the 30 players will immediately begin training for the FIFA Girls’ Under-17 World Cup qualifiers, which will commence in 2019.
For more information on the Girls’ Under-15 National Team and the Girls’ Youth National Programme, contact Shakeina Bush on 927-8188 or email [email protected]