Elite, Academy split U21 titles

Academy Sports Club players celebrate their U21 FA Cup win.

Academy Sports Club finished out of the reckoning in the race for the top spot in the CIFA U21 Men’s League, in which Elite Sports Club took the title, but were the ones celebrating with a 2-1 win over the league champs in the FA Cup final on 11 August.

The game at the Annex started off as a lacklustre affair but came to life as the first half neared its end. Cody Jamal Ebanks fired a shot at goal from the top of the 18-yard box, which keeper Jacob Whewell failed to take cleanly. After 38 minutes, it was 1-0 in favour of Elite.

Two minutes later, Academy bounced back when Finegan Huffington pushed the ball up the right side and found Nicholas Chung, who flicked the ball into a scoring position for Alex Logvinov, who put the ball past Albertini Holness in the Elite net.


The eventual winner came in the 42nd minute when Jayden Downey’s shot ended a flurry of activity in front of the Elite goal.

The second half saw opportunities for both sides to get more scores but there would be no more. A spectacular save from Whewell to deny Christopher Reeves in the 75th minute ensured Academy held on to the lead and ultimately the win.

“We just had to keep focused and be prepared. We just came and gave our all, stuck to the game plan and did what Coach Jack asked us to do,” Academy player Sullivan Zelaya told CaymanSportsBuzz.com after the final whistle.

The win came in the last outing for coach Jack Brazil with the club before he leaves island to pursue professional coaching opportunities in Norway. “It means everything. It’s great to win but the main thing that I’m proud of is the journey that we’ve been on as a group,” said Brazil, who was volunteered with the club for the past two years while working at Excel Sports Management.

Academy players give coach Jack Brazil a fitting send off.


“This isn’t something that we’ve done in one night…the commitment and the drive they have shown has culminated in a great night.”

Zelaya, who also won the Men’s FA Cup with a Brazil-led side earlier in the year, was full of praise for his coach. “I thank Coach Jack for everything he has done. To win two trophies with him was really good.”

Meantime, Elite’s Jevin Ebanks assessed his team’s performance. “We picked it up in the second half. I think we played much better but we needed to have a good first half and a good second half because this is a good team we were playing against. You have to give them credit because they played very well.”

Elite SC – U21 Men’s League champions and FA Cup runners-up

Though they were not winners on the night, Elite end the U21 campaign as league champions after edging Future Sports Club by a point to top the final table. “I’m very happy winning the league. We played very hard…I’m very happy that we finished on a positive note,” Ebanks said.

Elite Technical Director Greg Ebanks was pleased overall with what he saw from his young men during the summer. “There’s good potential for them to embark on playing with our senior team for the upcoming season. There are quite a few candidates there,” he said.

Coach Greg was able to sit back and watch senior player James ‘Paddy’ Ebanks coach the young side to the league title and the cup runner-up position. “Somebody has to take up the mantle. I’m really pleased that he took up this challenge and it’s a learning experience for him,” he said.

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