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Belize Welcome Back Young Jaguars from Cayman Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00

Belize under 15 National Team The under 15 Jaguars performed excellently in Cayman as they became the first national football team of Belize to win three games in an international tournament. In the CONCACAF U-15 Championships, the young Jaguars defeated St. Lucia 1-0, Jamaica 3-1 and Grenada 6-1. Their only defeat came against Guatemala in which the final score was 1-0. The three and one record was not good enough for the team to advance to the next round of competition.  


The team was recognized by CONCACAF for its outstanding conduct off the field as well. Because of the good behavior of the players and good discipline of the entire delegation, CONCACAF extended the teams accommodation at the luxurious Holiday Inn Resort until the end of the tournament though they did not advance in the competition. In return the team played a friendly match against players from the Cayman Islands on a small island called Cayman Brac. The match was organized by the Minister of Sport of Cayman Islands. The team flew on a chartered flight from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac on Friday evening, August 23rd, and played the match on Saturday.  During their time in Cayman, the team was taken to the beach and movies by Belizeans living in Cayman. They also went to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove.

The team returned home on Monday, August 26th, to a welcome fit for heroes. A crowd of relatives and friends awaited their arrival at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. As they exited the departure lounge, the crowd roared with affectionate enthusiasm. One woman yelled, “That’s my son!” A man in a Belize jersey shouted, “proud ah unu.” One youngster said, “that da my lee bwai (goalkeeper Alexander Cadle).” The players could not stay and mingle with their fans because they were instructed to walk straight to their bus. The bus headed down to Brodies parking lot on the Phillip Goldson highway where a truck was waiting. The players got into the back of the truck; festive music started playing and a motorcade headed into the heart of the city. Parents and fans followed, many with Belize flags attached to their vehicles. Students gathered at certain points in the city to cheer on the gifted youths and as the motorcade continued throughout the city’s streets residence paused for a minute to express their appreciation for the achievement of the squad. The motorcade ended at the Radisson where the Football Federation of Belize held a press conference.

During the press conference, the executives of the FFB reemphasized their commitment to youth development. Ruperto Vicente, President of FFB, said, “We are going to be spending most of our time, energy and money on youth development.” Sergio Chuc, Vice-President said, “It’s a pledge we made from the first day we were elected that our efforts will be on the youths.” The youths spoke about their experience in Cayman. They spoke about playing in front of huge crowds, going to the beach and swimming with the dolphins. However, they would trade all the extracurricular activities they enjoyed for a chance to play over the match with Guatemala. One player said, “I’m sure we could have beaten Guatemala. We got a lot of chances to score and we didn’t but Guatemala scored on their one chance.” The players believe they can beat any of the teams that were in the tournament. They will have the chance to prove themselves right because President Vicente says the team will be kept together and they will participate in future tournaments.