Caribbean Mega League

 

Caribbean Mega League

Meet The Teams

Republican Rabbits

Nickname: Rabbits
Nationality: Dominican Republic
Stadium: Palo Park
Manager: Tom Meadowcroft
Pre-Season Expectation: 1st

Tom Meadowcroft has lucked out by landing this job and with almost two-hundred players flocking to make the island’s new team, Palo Park will be hosting a fiesta of football in its first season. Rabbits are from the Dominican Republic, yet only nine of their players are homegrown and the other fourteen have made a career in the Caribbean after flocking from South America, Central America and even Cameroon in the case of teenage midfielder Frank Angong. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Meadowcroft has international players from Haiti and the Dominican Republic’s ranks at his disposal, but more impressively Geancarlos Martínez has represented Venezuela on the big stage and his experience may prove vital in the dressing room. Porky Thermador also plays for the Rabbits.

Jamrock Juniors

Nickname: Jamtastic
Nationality: Jamaica
Stadium: Levi Roots Arena
Manager: Daz Knapton
Pre-Season Expectation: 2nd

Jamrock Juniors, managed by league founder Daz Knapton, will begin the tournament as one of the favourites due to the large number of players available to join the team playing at Levi Roots Arena. Three of the JJFC squad have represented Jamaica at full international level, whilst five have played youth games for the Reggae Boyz, which will make for a strong starting eleven on paper. Newton Sterling, the aged lone-striker spearheading the attack, has played in Norway and Israel amongst many Caribbean clubs in his career so is likely to bring experience to an otherwise fairly spritely side. In terms of other areas of quality, Knapton has highlighted young centre-back Ajeanie Talbott as his starman. The main question of whether a true title challenge will be made will lie in whether or not Sterling can recapture his youth in a side that may otherwise struggle for goals.

Vodou People

Nickname: Party People
Nationality: Haiti
Stadium: Papa Doc Parc
Manager: Oscar
Pre-Season Expectation: 3rd

Haiti’s Vodou People are also one of the outright favourites to grab the league by the scruff of the neck and with Javier Bolívar leading an otherwise all-Haitian squad, the Venezuelan defender spreads confidence across the island who will be hoping to see off neighbours Domician Republic. With a mixture of youth and experience, the likes of 19-year old Frantz Moise are hopeful of having as much of an impact at Papa Doc Parc as the likes of the older heads such as Charlemagne Chaderson and sweeper keeper Guerry Romondt, who has three caps for the senior national side having made his debut against Bolivia back in 2013. Six of the 23-man squad have played for Haiti’s international team, which isn’t bad considering none of the current residents of the island were selected for the nation’s latest fixture against Costa Rica.

Limbo Leopards

Nickname: Leopards
Nationality: Trinidad & Tobago
Stadium: St. Stern's Park
Manager: Will Clark
Pre-Season Expectation: 4th

Another team with plenty going for it is Limbo Leopards of Trinidad & Tobago, and as the Caribbean’s most recent World Cup representative there has certainly been a rise in reputation for the players of this particular island- and the Leopards have seven of them, including their young starlet John-Paul Rochford. The former Portland Timbers academy isn’t the only big name in the squad though, with 44-year old journeyman Gary Glasgow also making it into Will Clark’s side. For many, St. Stern’s Park is likely to be seen as the hardest away day in the Caribbean Mega League and their strength and depth of squad means that they are favourites to win the first ever edition of this new league. It would be a big shock if they didn’t make the top four.

Moko-Jumbies FC

Nickname: Kitt Men
Nationality: St Kitts & Nevis
Stadium: Sugar Lane
Manager: Liam Knapton
Pre-Season Expectation: 5th

With the smallest pool of players to choose from, Moko-Jumbies FC are going to be a surprise package at best as the brightly coloured side from St. Kitts & Nevis look to compete with the big boys under Liam Knapton. The Kitt Men only had 40 players to select from when building their 23-man squad and with only one foreign player making the side in the form of US Virgin Islands international centre-back Kassall Greene, the local talent is what is going to keep the flag flying for the Sugar Lane boys. One standout player from the opening draft was 17-year old right-back Malique Roberts and he helps to set the tone of a young squad that includes plenty of international standard pedigree. Tiran Hanley and Carlos Bertie are just two of the Moko-Jumbies players who have received caps within the past couple of years, so with a bit of luck they might grab some good wins.

Bermuda Tempest

Nickname: Trianglists
Nationality: Bermuda
Stadium: The Hidden Ground
Manager: Macauley Blencowe
Pre-Season Expectation: 6th

There’s always one awkward away day in any league and with the inclusion of Bermuda Tempest, the Caribbean Mega League is no different. Macaulay Blencowe, who is primarily a rugby man, will lead these literal outsiders into battle for the season. 14-stone Ian Coke and most valuable player Casey Castle are likely to be key players for Blencowe’s boys and if they can pick up a few away points in spite of the potential jetlag, they will fancy their chances in any game at The Hidden Ground- even if 47-year old Dwayne Adams is starting between the sticks. It would be a surprise to see the Tempest sweeping home to claim the trophy, but they will certainly be one of the harder sides to beat.

Suriname Sharks

Nickname: Nethermen
Nationality: Suriname
Stadium: Edgar Davids Arena
Manager: Richard Gray
Pre-Season Expectation: 7th

Although Suriname is technically in South America, they have always been classed as a part of the Caribbean’s structure and their Nethermen side, led by Dutch enthusiast Richard Gray, will hope to channel their South American and Dutch routes as they aim to forge their own identity in this new football world. Much like their manager, who is the youngest in the competition, Suriname Sharks are very hard to predict in terms of what to expect. When you boil up the stats, they have plenty of goalscorers who have notched for the national squad and in the shape of left-winger Giovanni Waal, right-midfielder Mitchell Kisoor and poacher Ivanildo Rozenblad, so the main question will be whether Gray can get the Edgar Davids Arena bouncing towards victory.

Redonda Rockys

Nickname: Da Rockz
Nationality: Antigua & Barbuda
Stadium: Wa'omoni
Manager: Andy Baxter
Pre-Season Expectation: 8th

One of the stronger, albeit limited, nations in the Caribbean’s football scene is Antigua and Barbuda and despite there not being hundreds of players to choose from for Andy Baxter, there is plenty of talent on show. Redonda Rockys are certainly one of the more multinational clubs in the league and with players lining-up from as far and wide as Argentina, Cuba, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent, as well as their home country, you have to wonder just how far this side can go. On paper, their star player is Fernando Cigno but the Argentine attacking midfielder is no spring chicken so he will be reliant on some of the young lads around him to do the leg work. Cuban brothers Jaime and Yoel Colomé also add to the squad’s average age at 40 and 36 respectively. If they can last 90 minutes, they might be a good mid table side.

Ajax Oranjestad

Nickname: Oranje Boys
Nationality: Aruba
Stadium: ArenArubA
Manager: Max Alderson
Pre-Season Expectation: 9th

Aruba is one of the few nations that managed to have a team in the top-flight league in the Caribbean Mega League despite their national side not being one of the highest ranked. It shouldn’t make much difference though as Max Alderson knows his stuff and he takes over a team that shares its name with one of the world’s most famous. Ajax Oranjestad are about as Dutch as gouda and although their best player is sweeper keeper Eric Abdul, not to be confused with former Barcelona and France left-back Eric Abidal, the Oranje Boys will expect their teen superstars Glenbert Croes, Mark Jacobs and Ethan Tromp to form a sturdy spine whether they are travelling around the isles or being cheered on at ArenArubA. The only worry for Alderson will be whether he can recover mentally from a recent game in the Tea & Justice Premier League in which he threw away a 0-4 lead at home to bottom team J-Pop Juniors.

Bajan Boppers

Nickname: Bop 2 da Top
Nationality: Barbados
Stadium: Bajan Barracks
Manager: James Bennett
Pre-Season Expectation: 10th

Bajan Boppers could not be more appropriate a name for a club coming out of one of music’s most historic nations. Barbados has built its Barracks ground with the intention of bopping to the top of the Caribbean Mega League, which will be a tough feat even with lots of internationally renowned players making the team. One of the league’s most exciting young prospects, 33 cap and only 22-year old Hadan Holligan, is an aggressive and attacking winger who has already gained recognition for his displays on the island. This fresh challenge will also give the likes of veterans Jason Boxhill and Jeffrey Williams one last big chance to lift silverware and manager James Bennett will aim to provide his side to do this. If he does, he’ll be the most famous Staffordshire person since Chris Birchall.

Dominica Dominoes

Nickname: Doms
Nationality: Dominica
Stadium: LIME Stadium
Manager: Wes Carter
Pre-Season Expectation: 11th

Little Dominica is another lower-ranking Caribbean nation that has been accepted into the Mega League and many are already expecting them to be a bit of a wildcard even before the tournament kicks-off. Wes Carter joins the league with inspiration and creativity in abundance and he’s even picked a local defunct team to base his club’s name on. Dominica Dominoes on paper shouldn’t be tearing up too many trees in the league but somehow there is just a whiff of unpredictability about them that makes you want to follow their progress. It could be the mystery of their Turkish winger Adem Sener or it could be the fact that they have one of the most exciting looking defensive midfielders on their books in the shape of Brad Richards, but whatever it is it could also turn out to be nothing and the tiny island nation may just fizzle out.

Spicy Doves

Nickname: Big Nutz
Nationality: Grenada
Stadium: Cécile Stadium
Manager: Sophie Dibbens
Pre-Season Expectation: 12th

To have a woman managing a men’s team in a top flight league is rarely seen, but the challenge for Sophie Dibbens won’t just to be in it- she’ll want to win it with her Spicy Doves side. Much like Dibbens, Grenada are a bit of a footballing underdog and the national team looks for its international players in England as much as it does at home. Unfortunately Dibbens doesn’t have that option though and with fewer than seventy players to choose from she will be hoping that the likes of Leon Braveboy and Romar Frank can do the business in this highly competitive league. Old boy Jake Rennie stands out as their most natural goalscorer, but at the age of 36 will he be able make a real impact from a central midfield role? If not, the goals could be the biggest issue for Big Nutz.

 

Pick Your Team!

Become a supporter of a Caribbean Mega League side and give yourself a team to support.

If you become a supporter of one of the twelve CML it will certainly add to the drama. It could be a team that you like sound of, a country you have links with or even the team who's name you like the sound of! Who knows... if we get enough supporters for a team then we might even think about creating some merchandise so you can don the colours of your beloved CML club!

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