After five days of intense preliminary-round action among fourteen teams in the 2015 Caribbean Football Union Club Championship, which started on April 15 and ended last Sunday, we are proud to announce that the Lyford Cay F.C finished second in the group 4 just behind the professional team of Don Bosco de Petionville (Haiti).

On April 17, in Haiti, Group 4 saw Lyford Cay F.C get their first point of the competition in a 2 -2 draw with Unite Saint Rosienne (Guadeloupe). Lyford Cay F.C was down 2 – 0 in the first half after Gilles Dan scored in the 4th minute and Steeve Desert in the 33rd minute. However the second half told a different story as Lyford Cay stormed back in the 69th minute through Dean Jacobs, first player to score a goal for a Bahamian team in the CFU Champion’s League, and Sam Nellis in the 72nd minute from the penalty spot to end the match 2 – 2. Lyford Cay F.C finished the game with nine players after our two Sams, Dowell and Nellis received red cards. The team was very close to stealing a victory when a thunderbolt by Kristoff Wood rattled the post two minutes before full time. Kristoff had also struck the crossbar with a powerful header in the first half. This was officially the first point earned by a Bahamian club in a recognized international competition.

But this was only the beginning of an incredible tournament for Lyford Cay F.C.

On April 19, Lyford Cay F.C faced Helenites S.C (US Virgin Islands) for a crucial game in group 4. Lyford Cay F.C took the lead after 29 minutes with a goal of Markus Traill. An heroic, backs-to-the-wall performance kept the score at 1-0 and so brought the Bahamas the first club victory in international competition. We would like to note the magnificent defensive performance of Steven Soirilien.

The Bahamian heroes are Joe Byrne, Sam Dowell, Yiorgo Coyle, Happy Hall, Alexander Thompson, Lamar Cancino, Wolf Ullrich, Dean Jacobs, Markus Traill, Sam Nellis, Marvin Johnson, Steven Soirilen, Kristoff Wood, David Shaw, Kenroy Blake, Frederic Bournas, Odaine McCallum, Walden Memnon, David Knowles, John Fletcher, and David Dormaivil.

Even more memorable was the experience of working at ‘My Fathers Orphanage’ and the ‘Academy for Peace and Justice’. The Academy was built by Artists for Peace and Justice and is committed to to support communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare, and dignity through the arts and sports. The Lyford Cay Football Club met with the staff and visited the newly-built campus hosting more than 3000 students. The players and staff members displayed a big heart and spent their resting time between games working with Haitian kids. They managed to coach and play with hundreds of amazing and inspiring young footballers. Thank you to Lyford Cay International School students who supplied boots, clothing, stationary and gifts.

We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters who believed in us and our “crazy” project to ensure that a Bahamian club is represented for the first time in 18 years in the CFU/CONCACAF Club Championship. We hope that other Bahamian clubs will follow our path on this fantastic journey.

Thank you to Capital Union Bank, Five Four Clothing, Corner Trader.com, Capital Institutional Services Inc, Club One Fitness Centre, Commonwealth Brewery Limited, Le Patio, CME, Telle’s Auto Work, Pelago Studios, AFD, Siebels and Baobab Asset Management.

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