BVI secures 2nd draw against Cayman in CONCACAF Nations League

GEORGETOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS. JUNE 6th: Teamphoto of British Virgin Islands during the match between Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands as part of the 2022 Concacaf Nations League held at the Truman Bodden stadium in Georgetown, Cayman Islands. (PHOTO BY CESAR D PAULI/CONCACAF/STRAFFON IMAGES/MANDATORY CREDIT/EDITORIAL USER/NOT FOR SALE/NOT ARCHIVE)

A tremendous second half performance saw the BVI Men’s National Football team battle back from a goal down to secure another 1-1 draw against Cayman Islands in the CONCACAF Nations League Group C action on Monday in George Town, Cayman.

There was little to separate the teams at the Truman Bodden Stadium, with the same end result meaning both teams have a pair of points ahead of clashes with Puerto Rico.

Early chances were squandered by both teams as Jamie Wilson saw his curling free kick safely smothered by the Cayman’s keeper, Albertini Hollness. Then, the home side had an excellent chance in the 10th minute, with Corey Smith sending a left-footed ball to the back post that was headed on goal by Jabari Campbell. Daniel Gilford made a point blank save, deflecting the ball onto the post and Jerry Wiltshire was on hand to complete the clearance.

The hosts went ahead in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot, when Trey Ebanks was pulled down in the box by Christian Javier, and Jonah Ebanks stepped up to convert to the left of Gilford.

Whatever words BVI Coach, Chris Kiwomya used at halftime showed immediate effect though as just seconds after the second half resumed, Wilson scored the equaliser. Luka Chalwell found Tyler Forbes with a slide rule pass into space ahead of the forward and he avoided the lunging tackle of Josua Frederick to put in a cross to the far post. Chalwell had continued his run and rose to nod the ball back across goal where Wilson was waiting, and although the keeper blocked his initial header, he reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball.

“The tactical changes in the first half worked and so did the plan to make more passes in the second half,” said Kiwomya. “We changed things a bit at the break, scored the goal and could have won the game. However, it’s small strides and the players are beginning to understand more and more about what is expected. We were forced to make changes, bringing on the likes of Quelani (Nickie) and Jake (Forbes), but kept our shape which was pleasing.”

“It always means so much more to me when I score for the BVI,” beamed Wilson. “I love representing the nation and all the people in it. I hope that they are proud of the performance that the boys put in. We created better opportunities to score, and our defensive set up has been highly effective. We can be a very stubborn team to break down; we have some big characters in the team and the future on the international stage is moving in the right direction in my opinion… onto Puerto Rico!”

“What character!” exclaimed FA President, Mr. Andy Bickerton. “We had to come back from goal down and gave debuts to two more youngsters in Quelahni Nickie and Jake Forbes. Onwards and upwards we go!”

Cayman Islands’ Joshewa Frederick Charlery had a chance for a winner just five minutes from the final whistle, coming forward and getting his head on a free kick, but it went wide and the teams shared a point.

“We got off to a good start and stuck to the game plan,” said Technical Director, Mr. Dan Neville. “An individual error gifted them a goal early, but we stuck in their and got our reward in the second half. We had chances to win the game in the second period and in the end showed great resolve to hold on and have to be pleased with a point on the road.”

Both teams now turn their attention to group rival Puerto Rico, with Cayman Islands hosting El Huracan Azul on June 9 and the British Virgin Islands traveling to Puerto Rico for a June 12 contest.

BVI Men’s National Football team ready for first home game since 2016, against the Cayman Islands on Friday at the A.O. Shirley Ground in the CONCACAF Nations’ League

The hosts will be hoping that their second campaign yields more positive results than the first, which saw them finish bottom of the group despite some promising moments.

The Caymans, on the other hand, are eyeing promotion after narrowly missing out on League B last time around when they finished tied for first in their group but lost out to Barbados on goal differential.

Veteran Mark Ebanks has been banging them in for the Cayman Islands for over a decade and remains one of the top scoring threats on the team. He scored the goal in the Cayman Islands’ 1-1 draw with Bermuda during 2022 World Cup qualifying last year.

For the British Virgin Islands, most eyes will be on Tyler Forbes. Forbes impressed during the previous Nations’ League as a teenager, scoring three times and emerging as a young leader in the squad.

The two sides last met at the senior level during the first round of the 2005 Caribbean Cup, when the Cayman Islands edged a 1-0 victory.

Effectively the game sees the start of a new four-year cycle for the squad with many graduates of the BVI Football Association Youth Programs cementing their places and some making their debuts.

“It is a deliberate move and a policy of the BVIFA to introduce the youths to senior football,” said BVIFA president, Mr. Andy Bickerton. “The strategy has been to get our most promising youths overseas to not only play but gain education through study and the number of young players breaking through shows the idea has worked.”

Also, new Head Coach, Chris Kiwomya, will be in the dugout for his first competitive game since taking over the reins. “We have held camps during the buildup, and I am happy and confident with the composition of the squad. We are here to compete, play to our strengths, and how to win the game,” said Coach Kiwomya.

Kiwomya has been watching the younger players as well as the senior players and talking to all the local coaches to fully understand who can achieve what at this level.

“We have had to be careful with the players and the intensity of training, but we are taking each day at a time especially with games coming in a short time frame and assessing everyone before narrowing down to the final squad,” said Coach Kiwomya. “We must not get too far ahead of ourselves, it is a fresh start and there will be ups and downs, the players have to get the fans excited by their performance and over the next 18 months or so we can move forward, make progress and be a real force.”

After Friday, the squad heads off to the Cayman Islands for the return fixture on Monday, June 6 followed by a match against Puerto Rico on June 12.

Troy Caesar is also back as Captain having been unavailable for the more recent World Cup qualifiers. “We are here to compete, and it is great to see the camaraderie that flows throughout the players,” said Caesar. “Once we all listen and understand what the Coach wants us to do, then we will come out with a victory.”

Ikyjah Williams has already played at senior level, having starred for the U20’s and is now joined by many of his teammates from the tournament held in the Dominican Republic. “I’m excited for the game, I know we will compete, impress the Coach, and play to win!” said Williams.

Goalkeeper, Daniel Gilford has also been promoted to first choice between the sticks having been in and around the senior squad without getting a game. “Becoming first choice, I won’t let anyone down and have been working hard, like everyone said we are here to compete,” said Gilford.

“The BVIFA is really excited by being able to play home games again,” said Bickerton. “We are still working on the stadium at East End and once that is done there will be more games at home. For now, we are working with the Recreation Trust to host games, and are very thankful for their support, but playing home games is really important so the public can see the progress we are making.”

The game against Cayman Islands kicks off at 4pm on Friday 3rd June at the A.O. Shirley Ground. Adult tickets are just $10 and Children U12 just $5.

The full squad includes Mekhi Walters, Gilford, Ceasar, Jerry Wiltshire, Phil Nelson, Denvin Jones, Miguel Marshall, Justin Smith, Christian Javier, Giovanni Grant, Williams, Makimbo Demming, Quelani Nickie, T’Sharne Gallimore, Jamie Wilson, Liam Blok, Carlos Septus, Tyler Forbes, Luka Chalwell, Jake Forbes, Luca Reich, Levon Williams, Alejandro Santos, Tai Thomas, Gethin Jones.

Women’s National Football team set to play in Concacaf W Qualifiers against SVG and Haiti

BVI national player Britney Peters at the goal mouth in the CONCACF World Cup qualifier match against Honduras, February 22, 2022
PHOTO: BVIFA

In another historic moment for BVI Women’s Football, the players continue their adventure in the World Cup with games this coming week against St Vincent and the Grenadines and Haiti in the Concacaf W Qualifiers.

Even more momentous is that the game against Haiti will be played on the A.O. Shirley Ground on April 9th with a 4pm kick off making it the first time a Women’s International game will have taken place in the Territory since 2014. That occasion was to mark the 40th Anniversary of the BVI Football Association being affiliated to FIFA, the World Governing body for Football and organizers of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, to be staged in New Zealand and Australia.

While a place on the plane to the “main event” is a dream for the current crop of players, their reality and focus is on an anticipated exciting game to be played at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent and the Grenadines against the Vincy Heat, on April 6th, with a 3.00pm kick off.

Tickets for the Haiti game are still available from the BVIFA office who also are offering a special deal for fans from Virgin Gorda with a round trip ferry crossing on Speedys included in the match ticket price.

Adults are $10 and children U12 just 5$ (VG Special is $30 adults and $20 U12’s).

The squad for the SVG leg has been confirmed as follows:

Ariel Mohamed, captain (Wolues FC), Zariya Smith vice-captain (Panthers FC), Kara Lewis (Panthers FC), Lil-Makeda Fahie (Avengers FC), Gabrielle Jermyn (Wolues FC), Jasmine Cox (Holland FC), Keeley Brickwood (Holland FC), Alicia King (DeMontford Uni.), Shevonne Vanterpool (Avengers FC), Zina Cheikh (Oakham Utd), Olivia Messum (DeMontford Uni), Chandni Wattley (Panthers FC), Britney Peters (Avengers FC), Darci Reich (Wolues FC), Morgan Creque (Panthers FC), Zolita Bamford (Wolues FC), Laverne Fahie (Avengers FC), Kiara Woodley (Wolues FC), Jackisha Rigobert (VG Utd) and Kimberly Smith (Wolues FC).

Head Coach is Wayne Phillip, Assistant Coach is Jeffrey Demming, Manager is Linda Magliore and Team Physio is Sheldon Harry.

“Training has been going excellent,” commented Phillips. “The girls are full of confidence and looking forward to the challenge. I am sure they will give a good account of themselves, and we are going out there to do well. We cannot afford to be over confidant but definitely want to play them on the front foot. In practice games the defense has looked more organized, and at the other end we have been scoring goals!”

The BVIFA is encouraging the public to show support for the Women’s National Team by attending their game against Haiti at the A.O. Shirley Ground which is expected to be well attended and full of excitement.

Contact the BVIFA by telephone on (284) 494-5655 for tickets.

About the Concafaf W Qualifiers*

The Concacaf W Qualifiers is the preliminary round of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship which will serve as the Confederation’s Qualifier to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 and the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games.

The 30 Concacaf Member Associations participating, all ranked 3 and below in the FIFA Women’s Ranking as of July 2021, have been divided into six groups of five teams each as follows:

Group A: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla
Group B: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and Curacao
Group C: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Grenada and Cayman Islands
Group D: Panama, El Salvador, Barbados, Belize and Aruba
Group E: Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and British Virgin Islands
Group F: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and Turks and Caicos Islands

After group stage play, where each nation will play two matches at home and two matches away, the top finisher in each of the groups – for a total of six teams – will advance to the Concacaf W Championship, joining the top two ranked Concacaf nations (USA and Canada) who have received a bye straight to the W Championship.

Additionally, both Group Stage third place finishers will advance to a FIFA Women’s World Cup intercontinental play-off. At the conclusion of the event, the winning nation will guarantee its place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup.

The runner-up and the third place will also progress to a Concacaf Olympic play-in to be played in September of 2023. The winner of the play-in will also guarantee their place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games and the 2024 W Gold Cup.

*Information source: Concacaf.com

BVIFA Executive attend CONCACAF workshop to advance football development

Members of the BVI Football Association Executive Committee spent the weekend of March 12 – 13 in a series of workshops with mentors from CONCACAF, the regional governing body, with the aim of taking the organization to the next level. Photo: BVIFA

Members of the BVI Football Association Executive Committee spent the weekend of March 12 – 13 in a series of workshops with mentors from CONCACAF, the regional governing body, with the aim of taking the organization to the next level.

The two-day workshop, facilitated by Mr. Howard McIntosh, One CONCACAF and Caribbean Projects Manager and Mr. Horace Reid, Caribbean Director, Member Association Affairs, had a main theme and aim of exposing the newly named BVIFA Executive Council to best practices in good governance to improve the overall administration of the game and to address the key roles and responsibilities of the Council.

The BVIFA also had to present its strategic plan, which was approved by the facilitators, discuss its current organizational structure, roles and responsibilities within the organisation, and identify key positions that need to be filled.

“The sessions were very productive,” commented 1st Vice-President, Mr. Avenel “Clarky” Morton. “The gist was that they were happy with where we have reached so far and have empowered us to reach new heights as a Council. This means as the elected officials, we have a responsibility to not be so involved day to day, but make sure the people we put in place are accountable and doing their jobs.”

The Executive Council is similar to a Board of Directors in a company and, according to Morton, it takes football well and truly into the realms of operating just like a successful business.

BVIFA Treasurer Mr. Kenrick Grant echoed the thoughts of his VP: “It was very timely in preparing us to be a body with the right attitude, understanding and knowledge needed for establishing a successful business where we can create leaders. We have already been making necessary changes to transform the organization from the game of football to the business of football and its important that these changes resonate throughout the organisation,” said Grant.

Grant also pointed out that, with the support of FIFA and CONCACAF, the BVIFA has already been making strides to be fully professionalised with a clear separation of the legislative, executive, judiciary and operational functions.

Clubs and National teams have also benefited from the new era and, following implementation of the conclusions from the workshops, those benefits will only continue to take football forward.

Some of the more immediate steps to be taken include the creation of a crisis management committee; development of a communication strategy for all clubs, members, stakeholders and supporters; a review of the player registration process; and a separation of powers by the Council members so they no longer are involved in the various standing committees and the creation of standard operating policy and procedure manuals for the various functions of the BVIFA.

BVIFA President Mr. Andy Bickerton was delighted to report, “the workshop was another steppingstone in the development of football in the islands as we look to match the professionalism of our players and coaches with that of our administration.”

VI National Women’s Football team in Honduras for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

The BVI National Women’s Football Team is in Honduras for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers

The National Women’s football team is eager to go and put up a good showing at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, the Road to New Zealand / Australia, when it faces Cuba and Honduras next week, in Honduras.

The youthful, inexperienced team, led by Ariel Mohamed and coached by Wayne Phillip , concluded a long weekend camp at the East End / Long Look venue followed by a practice match before traveling to Honduras on Thursday for its first ever Senior World Cup games.

“We have been training very consistently as we focus on qualifying for the Women’s World Cup,” said Mohamed. “We have just concluded a two-night residential football camp where we were able to work on our fitness and sharpen our skills together as a team. Everyone is extremely optimistic about the opportunity to represent the BVI on the international stage and about our match-up first with Cuba then Honduras. We are pleased with the assistance and support from the Football Association, coaches and the public.”

The full squad includes Mohamed (Wolues FC) as Captain, Kimberly Smith (Wolues FC), Britney Peters (Avengers FC), Darci Reich (Wolues FC), Zolita Bamford (Wolues FC), Sheniece St Jean (University of Maine), Keeley Brickwood (Holland FC), Chandni Wattley (Panthers FC), Kezia Gumbs (VG Utd), Shevonne Vanterpool (Avengers FC), Kara Lewis (Panthers FC), Jmya Mark (Avengers FC), Gabrielle Jermyn (Wolues FC), Lil-Makeda Fahie (Avengers FC), Zariya Smith (Panthers FC), Olivia Messum (De Montfort University), Morgan Creque (Panthers FC), Jasmine Cox (Holland FC) , Zina Cheikh (Oakham FC), Alicia King (De Montfort University), Jackisha Rigobert (VG Utd) and Kiara Woodley (Wolues FC)

Head Coach is Wayne Phillip, Assistant Coach, Jeffrey Demming, Team Physio, Sheldon Harry, Team Manager, Linda Magloire, Logistics and Equipment Manager, Priya Mohamed.

“It was good to see how well the girls gelled over the weekend considering it was the first time together as a group.” commented BVI Football Association Technical Director, Dan Neville. “The coaches worked hard and the girls took onboard the message from the men’s national team coach, Chris Kiwomya. They have a tough task ahead, but definitely seem well prepared and ready.”

According to Magliore, participation in the World Cup Qualifiers is a historical moment and whilst the girls are looking forward to the tournament, her expectation for them is “to learn, grow, and take as much as they can from the experience of playing Internationally. I want them to develop a mindset that one day they can get to the next level, and that with dedication, adequate preparation, and physical conditioning, they will get there. This is a start of a journey, and the BVI National Women’s Team is going places.”

Head Coach Phillip, who has been ably helped by coaches Morris Mark, Javon Carty, and Thomas Albert along the way, as well as Demming, was naturally full of confidence in his charges 

“We are going out there fully prepared. Our team is young, but has been training and playing together for a while now and they are looking forward to going out and competing,” said Phillip. “We are on a mission to give a good account of ourselves, have fun, enjoy the games, and go from strength to strength. The girls are really excited and feel good about what they are being asked to do.”

The first game sees the team play Cuba on February 19 at 5.30pm (BVI time) and then their second game is scheduled for February 22 against Honduras.

BVIFA sends members of Men’s National Team to UK training camp

The BVI Football Association is taking full advantage of the latest FIFA International Football window by holding a training camp at Bisham Abbey, England under the watchful eyes of Head Coach, Chris Kiwomya.

Despite COVID-19 continuing to cause travel and availability issues for the BVI, a strong squad has been assembled at the iconic base in Bisham Abbey, in the heart of Buckinghamshire, UK for the likes of international teams and top flight clubs ahead of games and Cup Finals at Wembley as well as many other elite sports teams.

“The camp is another step in the development of the Men’s National Team as we work towards the Concacaf Nations League which commences in June,” noted BVIFA President, Mr. Andy Bickerton. “It provides another opportunity for our young players to learn from our National Coach, Chris Kiwomya, and understanding the patterns of play he is introducing plus his personal expectations of them.”

Apart from the week long training camp, a highlight will be a friendly game against Anguilla on Thursday 27th January at Bisham Abbey. Both nations have numerous players playing football across Europe at semi pro and full professional levels.

Players attending the training camp include:

Goalkeepers –   Philip Jules and Will Butler
Defenders –   Christian Xavier, Jerry Wiltshire, Vidal Hendrikson, Miguel Marshall, Ikyjah Williams
Malakai Stanners
Midfielders –   Carlos Septus, Luka Chalwell, Jaimie Wilson, T’Sharne Gallimore
Forwards –   Josh Bertie, Tyler Forbes, Jake Forbes, Kevin Fisher

Several of the upcoming players in the BVI were selected but unavailable this time around including Sheldon Toney, Kalani, Denvin Jones, Justin Smith, Luca Reich, Liam Blok, Alejandro Santos, Leo Forte and Gethin Jones.

The future looks bright for youth football

Keallun Louise – scorer for One Caribbean in their 3-0 win over VG Utd in U13 National League match

The focus last weekend for the BVI Football Association was very much on the future, as not only was a Mini Youth League launched, but also the U13 National League resumed with two exciting matches.

First up on Saturday, over one hundred youngsters gathered on the field at East End / Long Look for the start of the Mini Youth Leagues with youngsters from Virgin Gorda and other sister islands set to join in from next week. The warm up event indicates a future that is definitely bright for football and for the upcoming BDO School Leagues.

In the U13 National League, One Caribbean FC had a 3-0 victory against VG Utd, courtesy of a double strike from Keallun Louise and an own goal.

The Sugar Boys FC then lost their 100% record, losing 1-7 to Panthers FC, who, with the win, closed the gap on the Sugar Boys at the top of the standings to just one point.

Kamauri Fenton and Myles Penn both scored twice, whilst Tiondre Martin, Christian Orlando and Mario Carter also found the back of the net.

Liam Min scored the consolation goal for the Sugar Boys.

“To be honest, I’m really proud of the boys and want to keep this Panthers team together as they are definitely the future of BVI football,” said Coach Wayne Phillip.

Phillip went on to explain how the game had kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as players from both teams showed their talents. “It was a brilliant game! My team stuck to the plan and executed exactly what I wanted from them. They passed the ball around without rushing, catching the Sugar Boys out of position, and then attacking with full force.”

Despite the margin of victory, Phillip was also quick to commend the coach, management, and players of the Sugar Boys. “They have a good team, but honestly, with my players running at them and pressing, they just couldn’t get into the game at all.”

The two women’s games that were scheduled both ended in forfeit wins for the Avengers FC and Wolues FC as the Panthers FC and VG Utd were unable to field teams.

In the Men’s National League, Lion Heart FC climbed to the top of the standings with a 6-1 drubbing of Old Madrid FC as Daveian Barnum netted four goals and both Dwayne Smith along with Michael Butt scored once.

Nano Ottley scored for Old Madrid.

In the other game played, One Caribbean got their first win of the season, seeing off One Love Utd by the odd goal in five as both teams were reduced to ten men before Errol Van der Muelen netted the winner in the 6th minute of added time at the end of the game, to make it 3-2.

Brent Bowman and Zeron Samuel put One Love 2-0 up inside the first 25 minutes, but One Love was reduced to a team of ten in the 34th minute when Carlos Septus made it 2-1 from the penalty spot in the 38th minute. Adrian Palladin equalized in the 61st minute, One Caribbean then saw one of their players sent off for a second bookable offense right at the death, but as the game seemed destined for a draw, up popped Van Der Muelen to seal the win.

BVI U20 Squad close out CONCACAF Championship with back-to-back victories for 3rd place finish

Jake Forbes’ 38th minute penalty secured back-to-back victories for the BVI to close out the CONCACAF U20 Championship in fine style and a third-place finish in Group A.

The final day of the Tournament, hosted by the Dominican Republic, began with the boys closing out in strong fashion with a 1-0 win over Dominica, to take third place in Group A, just two days after picking up their first three points of the tournament in a 1-0 win versus Sint Maarten.

Jake Forbes kept his cool in a dominant first half display shutting out distractions to fire home. “Their players were trying to put me off before taking it but I’m glad I scored and hopefully I’ve done my country proud,” said Forbes.

Forbes was a constant threat throughout the game and was an incredibly happy young man at the final whistle. “I was incredibly pleased with the overall team spirit throughout the tour. There were many positives and things that we can build on.”

It was a reshuffled team that took to the field with key players sitting out through injury, but each and every one put in a real shift to knock Dominica off their stride and create many chances to score. “The team was much more confident due to the win against Sint Maarten and built on the positives from that game to give us the upper hand. We did have a rough start to the tournament, but to come back and win two games is amazing.” confirmed Captain Malakai Stanners.

Coach Clinton “Tinnie” Percival was understandably a delighted man after a long week. “I am really proud of the guys. They played with pride and a never-say-die attitude. Even though we had to play the game without three of our regular starters, the other players showed character and the will to fight until the end.”

Percival also vowed to continue the processes established and see the boys realize their full potential. “Now that they have experienced the feeling of winning at this level, I can only see them going from strength to strength and we as the coaches will do everything that we can to assist them in the progress to greater things.”

BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, who was on hand to witness the successful conclusion to the tournament, was also full of praise for the team. “With key players missing we knew knew we had a lot of work to do, and everyone gave 100%. All of them worked so hard and we could have won by three or four. We controlled them, did not let Dominica get into the game, we harassed them and chased them, and, you know that if you work really hard, you get the benefits.“

Bickerton was also reluctant to pick out any players for special mention in such a team performance, but Mekhi Walters in goal again impressed as did Malakai Stanners leading the team from a more central position. “Stanners held the team together,” confirmed Bickerton. “Having won two games, got six points to finish third in our group of five and then add getting our first win a day ago and now a win again today against all the odds, then you know we had great performances out there. Mekhi Walters again was great in goal. Jakes Forbes out front was just constantly causing problems. He had a great game. But you know again, it is difficult to pick out players. Malakai Stanners, Captain for the day, he held the team together, playing out of position in the centre of the defence. Justin Smith was his normal unbelievable self – both backwards or forwards – but these guys played together for each other, for their country and for National pride”

Bickerton was also quick to state that the hard work doesn’t end here. “We had National Coach, Chris Kiwomya here observing and helping, looking to see which players he wants to add to the National squad and obviously we have to find more competitions for this group. The players have showed him what big hearts they have and what potential they have. What we must do now is when the boys get back to Tortola, we have to work with them on the weaknesses that Kiwomya has identified. Our coaches will work with the players to help them improve themselves. Because if we can come out here and win two games like this in a tough group and then go away and spend time with our players to improve themselves, then what are we going to be like when those improvements begin to show? We now understand how to play in a system. We now understand how we have to support each other and we now understand how we have to run for 90 minutes.”

Kiwomya had used his observer role well and identified that after a tough start, the boys had shown real desire to win. “Today proved just what the boys can do. Obviously the first two games were disappointing, but with a lot of meetings and heart to heart conversations they all came out and showed desire to do everybody proud including themselves and the people on the island, so you know I’m really proud of them and the work they put in today as well as in both the last two games. We wanted it more than opposition.”

U20 Boys’ Football team face defeat in first CONCACAF Championship match

BVI Boys U20 lost 7-0 to strong Curacao team in opening match of 2021 CONCACAF Championships on Nov 5. Photo: BVIFA

The U20 Boys were handed a 7-0 defeat by a strong Curacao team on Friday, November 5 as they opened their Group A campaign in the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) Championship.

The game, played at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, was a baptism of fire for the boys palying against a stronger, faster – especially when transitioning into attack – Curacao, who opened the scoring in just the 4th minute through Gio-Renys Felicia as the BVI lost possession on the right-hand side.

Naygiro Sambo doubled their advantage in the 18th minute and Curacao were 4-0 up inside the half-hour mark with further goals coming from Juruel Bernadina and Felicia before Sambo scored his second, making it 5-0, just after the re-start. The BVI though rallied defensively, and it was not until the final few moments of the game that Curacao scored through Shudelmar Dorand (90’) and Akram Potmis (90+3’) to pad out the final score at 7-0.

“The boys started the game in very high spirit but after conceding a goal within the first three minutes we never recovered,” commented Coach Clinton “Tinnie” Percival. “Curacao took advantage of our defensive mistakes but as the game went on, our boys started playing better. During the half time break we made a few changes and in the second half our confidence and ball play also improved, and we competed well up until the last five minutes of the game, when we conceded two more goals. I am confident though, that the team will make the necessary adjustments for the next game on Tuesday and have a better outcome.”

“A disappointing result against good opposition,” commented FA President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, who made the trip to support the team. “A lot of improvement (in the second half) and I am proud of the way the boys fought to the end showing great National pride! We have to pick ourselves up and move forward.”

The BVI’s next opponent, Grenada had a comfortable, complete performance in a 7-0 victory over Sint Maarten as Deanroy Phillip notched a hat trick (41’, 45+3’, 90+3’), while Aquil Lawlite (13’), Benjamin Ettienne (44’), Shermine Williams (61’) and Simeon Mitchell (73’) all chipped in with goals.

The full BVI squad includes, William Butler, Mekhi Walters, Oliver Henderson, Tai Thomas, Jalen Prentice, Jahmal Prentice, Ikyjah Williams, Justin Smith, Devin Jones, Alejandro Santos, Johari Lacey, Deshawn Richardson, Levon Williams, Luka Chalwell, Sheldon Toney, Gethin Jones, Jarrell Federicks, Milton Creque, Jaden Abrams, Jake Forbes, and Malakai Stanners.

The Technical Staff is Coach, Clinton Percival, Asst Coach, Ritchie Morton, Trainer, Javon Carty, Physio, Levy James, and Manager, Cathie Caine.

Apart from Grenada on Tuesday, November 9, the boys will also be playing Sint Maarten next Thursday, November 11 and Dominica on Saturday, November 13.

At the conclusion of the Championship, the finalists (two teams) will qualify for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games. The two losing semi-finalists (two teams) will also guarantee their participation in the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023.

The 2022 CMU20 Championship Group Stage will be played the summer of 2022.

BVI Boys’ U20 Football squad in DR for CONCACAF Championship

BVI Boys’ U20 National Football Team departed on Nov 3 for the CONCACAF Championship in Dominican Republic. PHOTO:BVIFA

The BVI Boys’ U20 National squad landed in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on November 3 to compete in the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) Championship November 5 – 14, 2021.

18 teams are participating, all ranked at 17th or below in the current CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Ranking and have been divided into two groups of five teams and two groups of four teams.

The groups are as follows:
Group A: Curacao, Grenada, Dominica, Sint Maarten, and British Virgin Islands
Group B: Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Belize, Saint Martin, and Anguilla
Group C: Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados
Group D: Nicaragua, Guyana, Cayman Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands

Following the conclusion of the qualifiers, 20 teams will participate in the 2022 CMU20 Championship. This will include the top four teams from the qualifiers and the region’s 16 top ranked men’s U-20 teams who have received a bye to the Championship.

The full BVI squad includes, William Butler, Mekhi Walters, Oliver Henderson, Tai Thomas, Jalen Prentice, Jahmal Prentice, Ikyjah Williams, Justin Smith, Devin Jones, Alejandro Santos, Johari Lacey, Deshawn Richardson, Levon Williams, Luka Chalwell, Sheldon Toney, Gethin Jones, Jarrell Federicks, Milton Creque, Jaden Abrams, Jake Forbes, and Malakai Stanners.

The Technical Staff is led by Coach Clinton Percival, Assistant Coach Ritchie Morton, Trainer, Javon Carty, Physio, Levy James, and Manager, Cathie Caine.

The boys face Curacao on Friday (Nov 5th), Grenada next Tuesday (Nov 9th) Sint Maarten next Thursday (11th Nov) and Dominica on Saturday (13th Nov).

At the conclusion of the Championship, the finalists (two teams) will qualify for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games. The losing semi-finalists (two teams) will also guarantee their participation in the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023.

The 2022 CMU20 Championship Group Stage will be played the summer of 2022.

The United States is the current champion of the CMU20 Championship. The North American nation won its second straight CMU20 title and second overall after defeating Mexico 2-0 in the final of the 2018 tournament. The event took place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.