On Sunday (18 March) Bodden Town Football Club were in a celebrating mood after their home field win over Northside FC 4-0 as Head Coach Elbert McLean was tabbed to lead the Cayman Islands national men’s football program. Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) President Alfredo Whittaker says McLean, who has over 30 years experience, has already hit the ground running.
“He already has his list of 35 or 36 players that will join the national team. We are looking forward to that new era.”
Whittaker adds the naming of McLean aligns with the inaugural 12-team 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Shield where Cayman will host two games.
“The immediate goal is to put a team together in the first Caribbean Shield tournament. We are very lucky to draw Jamaica in the very first match away, then we drew Dominican Republic. We have two teams that will visit Grand Cayman, St. Lucia and Montserrat.”
Bodden Town FC, the defending CIFA Premier League champions will represent Cayman in the Caribbean Shield tournament, making McLean a natural fit for the international play that follows. McLean says he’s happy to have been named to the position, but admits the upcoming international play has dominated his club’s season. Bodden Town FC currently sits in 7th place with a record of 6 wins, 5 loses and 1 tie.
“I feel happy about it, happy they believe in me and to give me a chance. I tell you right now, we’ve been focusing on the Shield than the season, they are training five days a week. The players are training and working to put in good results.”
Cayman’s men’s national team will get it’s first crack on the pitch in the upcoming ‘Nations League’ announced earlier this month. The new regional alignment gives Cayman’s men’s added international play as early as 2018. McLean says his team will deliver.
“Our goals are prepare mentally, physically and spiritually. We’ve selected a good core of young, strong players. I am confident in myself and in my staff.”
An official announcement on the men’s national team is forthcoming from CIFA.