There are some tensions at the FFB, but in the midst of all the chaos taking place there, there is still some good news concerning Belizean football.
For starters, Deon McCauley, the top striker for the Belize Jaguars, is back in the country to train with the Belizean National A Team, for the upcoming Copa Centro Americano. He told us about his experience with the Atlanta Silverbacks.
“So far this season I have scored five goals. I’ve played about ten games. I came in off the bench in a couple of games. I’ve played against MLS teams. I’ve been to MLS trials. It’s very good so far.
When I went to Atlanta, my team accepted me very well. They welcomed me. So I gained their respect. I build a family out there with my team-mates. But here in Belize for me it’s more comfort, because I’ve been around these players a long time. I know a lot of them, and I’ve gained the respect of a lot of them.
To me, being here is very comfortable for me, because I know them a lot, and I’m ready to play.”
In an article written in the official Atlanta Silverbacks website, the club boasted of Deon McCauley whom they say, combined with Junior Burgos, scored 11 goals for the Silverbacks during the NASL season and the Open Cup this year. The Atlanta Silverbacks expressed their regret at having to release Dean McCauley for a little spell but wished him the best.
Then there is Shane Orio, Belize’s beloved goalkeeper, who sat down the last tournament in Costa Rica last year. On Tuesday we bumped into him at FFB headquarters as he explained his thoughts on being back with the National Team.
“The tournament that I wasn’t around [for] was the last Nations’ Cup, which was held in Costa Rica. the reason for that is, since it’s wasn’t a FIFA date, then it’s optional for the clubs to send the players. In the situation that I was with Marathon was that we were in the same group with Honduras, and the team decided not to send me to the Nations’ Cup.
I’m happy to be back home with my people, with the team and hopefully we’re be able to go back to the Gold Cup. It will be difficult because this time around the preparation has been much shorter that the times before. But we have a good coach and hopefully we’ll be able to put everything together, and move on to the Gold Cup.”
As you may remember, during the 2013 tournament in Costa Rica, Woodrow West went from being the “under the radar’ to completely taking centre stage. Shane expressed his thoughts about his teammate, and said that to him it doesn’t matter who is chosen to be on the first 11.
“West and myself, we are friends. There is no hard feelings because West is playing. I’ll be Belize’s number one fan on the bench, and if the coach says Shane is playing I expect the same thing from West, for he to be our number one fan on the bench. Between myself and West, there is no problem. we have one goal, and the one goal is the improvement of this country, and hopefully that we’ll be able to move on to the Gold Cup.”
Because of challenges concerning the football pitch at the FFB football Stadium, the team is currently practicing at the Isidoro Beaton stadium with their new head coach, whom we have learnt to be Leroy Sherad Lewis, a coach from Costa Rica.