Cavalier ready for Gothia
Cavalier's technical director, Rudolph Speid, strongly believes they have a good crop of talented players who can make a big impression at the club's first visit to the Gothia Cup youth football tournament, July 12-15, in Sweden.
The Gothia Cup is rated as the world's largest youth football tournament and attracts teams from all over the globe. Cavalier will be the first Jamaican team to compete at the tournament, and Speid thinks they have the right experience to make their mark first time round.
"When we look at the teams, they are some really top teams. They have a lot to offer. However, the Cavalier squad will include some leading schoolboys and Premier League players, who should be able to match up with their rivals," Speid said.
The touring squad will also include invited players such as Daniel Russell, Jevaughn Cole, and new sensation and leading scorer in the Elite League, Shaneil Thomas.
"They will make the team stronger, and, of course, we have Premier League players in Nique Daley, Kaheem Parris, Jamoi Topey, Omar Thompson, and Nickashe Murray.
"So we have better-than-average players, and at this age, we can compete with the best in the world," Speid added.
With just over five weeks before the start of the tournament, Speid insists they will be fully prepared. They will be assisted by a Swedish coach, Sven Sjunneffon, two weeks before the squad leaves for an acclimatisation stop in Norway.
"All matches will be played on synthetic fields, and we thank Andre Virtue, who has allowed us to train on the synthetic field at Ballaz Academy. So we will be as prepared as we can be. This is the youth club World Cup, and we want to open the eyes of overseas scouts so they can see there are players in Jamaica who can match up with the best in Europe," he reasoned.
"We have five to six weeks to fine-tune everything. The good thing is these players have been playing together over the years. Some players were competing in the (SportsMax) Elite League, so now that they are finished, we can have the majority of our players on the weekend for training," he concluded.