FOOTBALL: Transfers give CIFA Premier League new look

A handful of offseason transfers have given the Cayman Islands Football Association Premier League a new look and have the potential to shift the balance of the league, which recently has been dominated by just a handful of clubs.

There were 10 transfers processed by the league during the summer window, CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker confirmed to the Cayman Compass.

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Six players left Scholars club that finished second in the Premier League last season. Among them is attacker Rollie Bodden who in previous seasons has competed for the league scoring title. Bodden transferred to Sunset. Charles Atal (Roma), Axel Dominguez (Latinos), Kevin Foster (Elite), Cesar Farjado (Sunset) and Raul Rodriguez (Latinos) also moved on from the club.

Future picked up a pair of the league’s top players in forward Mark Ebanks and defender Wesley Robinson. Ebanks, who has won the league’s scoring title several times and also played semi-professionally in the US, rejoins Future from Sunset. Robinson, who made a name for himself several years ago while helping Bodden Town to league prominence, arrives at Future from Academy.

Perhaps the biggest move is from Christopher Reeves, who tied for the 2019/20 Premier League goal-scoring title while playing for Elite. Reeves now joins a Latinos squad coming off a Presidents Cup title as well as a Charity Shield win.

Midfielder Lucas Christian also left Future to join East End.

2020 CIFA Premier League transfers

Name                      From                    To
Charles Atal             Scholars               Roma
Axel Dominguez       Scholars               Latinos
Kevin Foster            Scholars                Elite
Cesar Farjado          Scholars               Sunset
Rollie Bodden          Scholars               Sunset
Raul Rodriguez        Scholars               Latinos
Christopher Reeves  Elite                    Latinos
Lucas Christian        Future                 East End
Wesley Robinson     Academy              Future
Mark Ebanks           Sunset                 Future

Predictions

With the season just underway, the Compass wants to know who you think will win the 2020/21 CIFA Premier League title. Here are our takes:

Seaford Russell Jr.
Pick: Bodden Town

“Latinos came to mind first only because they have been on a roll as of late, winning both the Presidents Cup and the Charity Shield. But it wouldn’t be wise of me to bet against the 2019/20 league winners.

“Bodden Town only lost once in the league last season despite some of their top players being suspended after an assault on a CIFA referee. The team has a winning tradition and is easily considered one of Cayman’s most successful squads. However, with all the controversy and hiccups they had last season, I believe they have something to prove in the upcoming league and if they keep their focus they will reign supreme once again.”

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales, Compass Editor-in-Chief
Pick: Scholars
“Seeing both Mark Ebanks and Wesley Robinson transferring to Future SC immediately got me thinking whether the West Bay club would now be able to hang with the league’s best teams. After a 5-1 loss to Scholars in the Premier League’s opening round, however, it appears more is needed to make that team competitive.

At the end of the day, Bodden Town is the smart choice as they don’t appear to have lost much since last season, when they won the Premier League championship. In fact, they now have goalkeeper Ramon Sealy back from injury.

But picking the champs would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Latinos also seems too easy.
Scholars, meanwhile, is a perennial power that came just shy of winning the title last season. Yes, they lost six players to transfer, but they have one of the league’s top keepers in Jermaine Brown and Jonah Ebanks’ hat trick in the season opener shows the squad has plenty of firepower up front. Throw in midfield talent like D’Andre Rowe and Chris Douglas and you’ve got a recipe for success.”

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