Cavalier get top rating in Concacaf - Players under-21 accounting for 58.1 per cent of the team’s minutes over the course of the season
Cavalier’s technical director, Rudolph Speid, says the recent positive ranking by CIES (International Centre for Sports Studies) Football Observatory, a research group based in Switzerland, is a reflection of the work the club is doing in trying to develop players for the international market and national team.
Cavalier placed ninth in the ranking and first in Concacaf with players under 21 accounting for 58.1 per cent of the team’s minutes over the course of the season. UWI (56.3) were the second placed Jamaican team and 12th overall while Harbour View (45.3) were third locally and 26th overall.
Speid told The Sunday Gleaner that his team does not necessarily play in the local Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) to win it, but to get players ready to compete at the highest level and the recognition by CIES should draw more attention to the club.
“People have to recognise that you are not just competing with Jamaican clubs. A youngster is playing football now has to recognise that he is competing against other players in the world.
“If he wants to land a professional contract or if he wants his national team to do well, he cannot be geared toward opponents here and believe you are doing well when you beat up everybody.
“The truth is, overseas is where the competition is. It’s where you are going to get a professional contract or you are going to play well for your national team at the international level. So I have always looked ahead to see how Cavalier can compete on the international stage,” he said.
Speid said they have slowly built their reputation over the last few years and he hopes this recognition will garner even more respect in transfer negotiations.
“This one pushed us on to the world map. We are in the top 10 in the world for fielding the youngest team and number one in Concacaf and that alone is really substantial. Even though we haven’t won the local premier league for the longest while, on the world stage, we are a known commodity and that is what is really important to us, to be known on the world stage,” he stated.
He continued: “Every scout is always looking for the next good player, if they realise Cavalier is in the top 10 of playing young players in their premier league, I am sure a couple eyes will start looking in our direction.
“In addition, I am sure the value of the players will increase to a point where we can start to negotiate. We have had to basically take what we get for players, so we are trying to help the player more than the club.”