The recently formed Cayman Islands Boys Under 15 National Football Team will be competing in the 2018 Cayman Airways Invitational Under 15 Youth Football Cup, scheduled for May 29 to June 2 at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay and the Cayman Brac Sports Field in Cayman Brac.
The local boys will compete in Group A with the Jamaica Under 15 Boys National Team, Portmore United (Jamaica) and DC United (U.S.). They face Portmore United on Tuesday, May 29 at 6 p.m.; the Jamaica under 15 Boys National Team on Wednesday, May 30 at 6 p.m.; and DC United on Thursday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. All Group A games are scheduled for the Ed Bush Field.
Group B will be played in Cayman Brac and includes defending tournament champions the Cuba Under 15 National Team, Harbour View FC (Jamaica), Mount Pleasant Academy (Jamaica) and San Antonio FC (U.S.).
Coached by former players Lovane “Peelo” Joven and Garth Anderson, the Under 15 national squad has been training together since February 2018 in preparation for the 2019 CONCACAF Under 15 Boys Championships, scheduled for next summer. Completing the staff contingent is Team Manager Michelle Minzett and Equipment Manager Leon Whittaker.
Commenting on what the public can expect from this team and the tournament in general, CIFA President Alfredo Whittaker said, “This is [a] very talented group of young players in this age group and we are looking forward to a great performance from the boys as they represent their country, many of them for the first time. We also welcome the visiting teams, hope they enjoy their stay and we anticipate some great youth football.”
The Cayman Islands Under 15 national squad currently consists of 35 players and includes a number of players from Cayman Brac. The 22 players taking the field next week were selected for this particular tournament based on their performances at training and in the ongoing CIFA Under 15 Boys domestic league. The entire squad will reconvene training at the conclusion of this tournament in preparation for 2019.
With the formation of this Under 15 Boy’s National Team, CIFA now boasts four youth national programs, which include the Boys Under 15, Under 17 and Mens Under 20 teams as well as the Girls Under 15 team, along with a Senior Men’s national team.
The Boys Under 17 and Mens Under 20 national teams are currently preparing to compete in the Caribbean Football Union’s Under 17 and Under 20 World Cup playoffs later this year, while the Girls Under 15 national team will participate in the 2018 CONCACAF Under 15 Girls Championships in Florida this summer.
The Senior Mens National Team will participate in the CONCACAF League of Nations, which kicks off in September 2018.
CIFA is also planning to introduce a Mens Under 23 and a Girls Under 17 national programs later this year.