Belize’s football stars are back home after making us proud over the last week. The teams brought home gold. Reporter Courtney Menzies reports.
Belize U15 team made the country proud as they came back from the CODICADER tournament held in Tegucigalpa Honduras with gold medals around their necks. The team fought their hardest during the weeklong tournament and upon their arrival, one of the coaches Jamie Monroe told our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz about the teams they played against.
Jamie Monroe, Team Belize U15 Coach: “We came back with gold. We were in the group of Guatemala and Nicaragua initially and we won that group first place so we had to play with the second place of Group B which was Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama so we played the home team Honduras and we beat them in penalty shootouts after a nil-nil draw in regular time. We then went to the finals with the big Panama team which is very well respected in the region and they had thrashed every other team starting with Costa Rica; they had thrashed Honduras 3-0 they had thrashed El Salvador and Nicaragua 7-1 in the finals. We came back with them in the finals and we were one-nil up by the end of the first half. They came back in the second half very aggressively and we drew 1-1 in the regular time and then we went to the penalty shoot-out and there we managed to get the gold for Belize.
The captain of the team Teyshawn Meighan, a student of Belize Christian Academy also explained how it felt to play against Panama’s team.
Teyshaun Meighan, Team Belize Captain: “The was the hardest thing. They were the biggest in size and strength but we all had different technical abilities, they were big in body but we were better playing on the floor so that is where our strength was and we overcame them. We did win in all the games, no losses.”
According to Meighan the U15 team trained for three hours every day for the eight weeks prior to the tournament. The players were all dedicated to the game and it paid off.
Teyshaun Meighan, Team Belize Captain: “Our coach he would take our phones away around 7pm so we would be focused for the game the other day. So we would just drink a lot of water, hydrate ourselves and just think about the game ahead and we knew these boys were big, they were strong so our mindset was very strong, we had a huge mindset and our hearts were big and we went out there fought hard and that is how we won all our games.”
Meighan told us how happy the team was to make the jewel proud.
Teyshawn Meighan, Team Belize Captain: “It was a crazy experience, we cried a lot. We all ran on the field, we celebrated and we just prayed after the game and thanked God for what he did for us. Our goal was to make Belize proud, we wanted to make Belize known because everyone kind of underestimated us, they didn’t really believe in us but our country really supported us in a big way and I’m very thankful for that.”