Tough draws for Elite, Scholars in Caribbean Club Championships

Scholars International travels to Trinidad, while Elite SC takes a short flight to Jamaica with both sides having tough draws as they represent the Cayman Islands in the 2017 Caribbean Club Championship.

They are among a record 20 sides from 11 countries – headed by Trinidad & Tobago’s Central FC, the two-time defending champion – who have qualified for the 19th edition of the competition, which will determine the region’s representatives for the upcoming edition of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.

Elite will be the first to play, drawn in Group C with Montego Bay United (Jamaica), Grenades FC (Antigua and Barbuda) and Club Barcelona Atletico (Dominican Republic).

Their first test will be against the Dominican champions, Club Barcelona Atletico, on 3 March. Another tough assignment follows two days later against Montego Bay FC, which sits atop the standings of Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League as they aim for a second straight domestic league crown.

Elite’s final fixture on 5 March, pits the 2015-16 Cayman Premier League runners-up against Antiguan side Grenades FC.

Scholars International, which edged Elite SC for the league crown last season, is in Group D with three former champion: Central FC (Trinidad and Tobago), Portmore United (Jamaica) and SV Transvaal (Suriname).

Scholars opens play against 2015-16 Red Stripe Premier League runners-up Portmore United on 8 March in the first Group D fixture. Portmore, like Scholars, is having mixed fortunes this season and currently sits fifth in the Jamaican top-flight.

Next up is a rematch with the 2015-16 T&T Pro League champions and defending Caribbean Club champions, Central FC, on 10 March. In last year’s tournament, Central FC beat Scholars 6-0 in group play.

Scholars final match will be against last season’s Surinamese runners-up SV Transvaal on 12 March.

The five group winners will advance to the finals in May.

Scholars will seek an improved showing in the tournament after losing its two games last year, surrendering 10 goals combined and was shutout from scoring. The challenge will be tough for the local clubs, who come up against larger outfits, some of whom feature semi-professional and professional players.

Locally, Elite has been showing good form all season long and are two points behind Bodden Town in the Cayman Premier League through 10 weeks. After a slow start, Scholars have climbed their way up the table and are fourth with 14 points.

CONCACAF, the continental governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, has provided a US$10,000 grant to assist with covering airline costs for the teams to travel for the tournament.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.