The Cayman Islands senior women’s national football team is preparing for their CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, scheduled to kick off in November.
Cayman will compete in group C against Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda and Grenada, with the winner of that group advancing to the CONCACAF W Championship where they will join seven other teams in a bid for a spot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Cayman Islands women’s national head coach Alexander Gonzalez told the Cayman Compass on 1 Sept., during a training session, that the upcoming matches are expected to be challenging for his squad.
“It is very difficult for us, but we need to evaluate the opponents; starting with Jamaica, they are a strong team in this group,” said Gonzalez. “The other strong team is the Dominican Republic… we [will] try to compete against that team but the possibility against them is difficult, but we will try to compete.”
The national women recently had the best performance in recent memory, when they dominated a friendly tournament in Turks and Caicos, defeating Bahamas twice and US Virgin Islands in clean sheet matches.
Cayman Islands Football Association general secretary Marcos Tinoco told the Compass those matches were organised to prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers.
“So the tournament in Turks and Caicos was a part of the plan, in preparation for the Qualifiers that we will be playing in November,” said Tinoco.
The senior men finished their World Cup Qualifiers this past June, losing three games and drawing one. CIFA president Alfredo Whittaker, who faced backlash against the association from the players, said the women’s success is due to their positive attitude.
“These girls; it’s not to say that they don’t have their minor little issues, but we don’t have toxic people in that group,” Whittaker told the Compass. “That is important, when you have a group that is non-toxic you will always get good results.”
It’s those same ‘good results’ that Gonzalez believes his squad will achieve when they meet Bermuda and Grenada during the upcoming group stage fixtures.
“[Our] real objective… is to win against the two other teams because they are similar to us,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been talking to the girls about [those games] being important for us because it’s a good opportunity for us.”
Cayman is expected to play Dominican Republic at home in their first match on Saturday, 27 Nov.