New ‘super’ league for men’s football

Elite SC (blue) and Bodden Town FC (purple) meet in the Charity Shield on 8 Oct.

In what’s expected to be a one-off situation, Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) officials have confirmed a consolidation of the Cayman Premier League and First Division for the 2017-18 season, with the inclusion of the national U20 men’s team.

The decision comes after the management of the U20 team lobbied to be included in the Cayman Premier League for the upcoming campaign to help players get match-tested ahead of CFU World Cup Qualifiers next summer.

The new league that kicks off on 15 October will feature 16 teams with a field headed by 2016-17 Cayman Premier League champions Bodden Town FC.

The other clubs are Elite SC, Academy SC, Scholars International, Latinos FC, Roma SC, Sunset FC, George Town SC, Cayman Athletic, Cayman Brac FC, Future SC, North Side SC, East End United, Savannah Tigers FC, Alliance FC and the Cayman Islands National U20 team.

Bodden Town FC and Elite SC face each other in the Charity Shield on Sunday, 8 October.

In league play, teams will play each other once for a total of 15 games, six less than teams in the top-flight played last season. Also, clubs like Academy SC and Elite SC, which had a second team in the First Division, will only be able to field one side.

Players on the National U20 Team will only be able to compete for one side, and therefore would not be able to suit up for their regular club during the league if they are part of the national team. That also applies to coaches, which will see the team’s head coach, Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour (who pressed for the side to be included) having to choose between the players preparing for World Cup qualification and Cayman Athletic, of which he is the technical director.


Cayman Athletic (blue) and Tigers (orange/yellow) will each have one shot at last season’s top teams.


Games will be scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the league season, which is expected to culminate in March. These will be played primarily at the T.E. McField Field (The Annex) in George Town, Ed Bush Sports Complex in West Bay, and in Cayman Brac at the new sports complex on the Bluff.

Another change comes in the FA Cup, which is scheduled to kick off in late March after the league is completed. In all rounds except the finals, if a match is drawn, the teams will play a second game to determine who will advance. Meantime, there will be no CIFA President’s Cup this season.


Scholars (blue) and Academy (white/black) were contenders last season.


It is expected that the two leagues will split for next season, as CIFA’s leadership under President Lee Ramoon seems to be finally tackling the issue of clubs lacking developmental programme featuring teams competing in the various youth leagues.

“It is only for one season,” stressed CIFA Assistant General Secretary Mark Campbell. “One of the rationales is they want to separate the developmental clubs from the non-developmental clubs. In having this one league, the criteria for separation [next season] is based on the position you finish in the league and if you have development happening in your club. If you don’t, then you fall to the bottom of the pack.”

A schedule for the league is expected to be finalised by the end of this week. It’s not yet clear when the CIFA Women’s League will begin, as understands ways are looking at to shake-up that competition, which featured only four teams last season.

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