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Nov 8, 2013

Introducing the Baby Jaguars!

The Football Federation of Belize showed off its new team that will be competing in the upcoming regional Central American under sixteen tournament, this morning at the Biltmore Plaza. The Baby Jaguars will be watched closely because members of the team performed spectacularly at the inaugural CONCACAF tournament held in Caymans. The under sixteen games will be held at the F.F.B. Stadium in Belmopan between the eighteenth to the twenty-fourth of November. News Five’s Isani Cayetano Reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Baby Jaguars, an under-sixteen division of the Belize National Football Selection, were presented to the public this morning at a press conference organized by the Football Federation of Belize.  The unveiling of the roster precedes the UNCAF U-16 Tournament which will be hosted in Belmopan later this month.  Of the twenty-six players who were introduced earlier, a majority of them participated in the recent U-15 tournament in the Cayman Islands.

 

Ruperto Vicente, President, Football Federation of Belize

Ruperto Vicente

“What we have done is that we’ve built on the U-15 team that went to the Cayman Islands, you know, to participate in the CONCACAF U-15 tournament and so a lot of the players who were on this U-16 team were on that U-15 team.  So what we’ve done is that we’ve brought in a new set of some players, you know, to strengthen that U-15 team that to Cayman. This team has been preparing for the past three months, you know, but they come in on weekends, they come in on Fridays, you know, and then they stay until Sunday and go back home on Sunday evenings in preparation for school since they are school children. This is a tournament that UNCAF does every two years, you know, and this is in preparation for the U-17 World Cup eliminations which UNCAF would want Belize to host as well.”

 

Head coach Renan Cowo says that the composition of the team has fluctuated since returning from the CONCACAF U-15.  He attributes the short listing to discipline and professional expectations.

 

Renan Cowo

Renan Cowo, Head Coach, Baby Jaguars

“This team, I’ve worked three months with them.  I received one hundred and sixty-eight players for the tryouts.  In the tryouts we selected twenty-five players for the Cayman Islands.  After the Cayman Islands we were down to eighteen players but when we came back some players, maybe because of discipline or the level of [expectations], five players who went to Cayman are not here.  There were forty players for this process and right now we have twenty-six players and only eighteen players will participate in the tournament.”

 

Fifteen-year-old Jamir Alpuche is among the many players who tried out.  He has succeeded in making the cut. Preparations for the upcoming games, he says, are very demanding.

 

Jamir Alpuche, Midfielder, Baby Jaguars

Jamir Alpuche

“Playing left wing is really hard because it’s a big role because you have to help the team in attacking and you have to be very defensive on the team and you have to help because you’re only playing with three defenders.  So the left wing plays a big role. Training is from Friday and Saturday and Sunday, two times a day on Saturday and it’s very hard.  It’s very intense training that we have so I think we will be prepared good enough for the tournament.”

 

The UNCAF Under-Sixteen Tournament will be held at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan from November eighteenth to the twenty-fourth.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

 

Tickets to the tournament cost ten dollars each and three games will be played daily at the FFB Field in Belmopan, with Belize hosting the marquee match every night. Most points at the end wins!

 

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