By Ned Bekavac
Guelph Soccer technical director Ruben Flores has been named head coach of the Cayman Islands national women’s soccer team ahead of some big matches.
Starting this week, the island nation will be competing at the Carribbean Cup, taking on the likes of hosts Turks & Caicos, St. Kitts & Nevis and Bermuda for a place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Flores remains Guelph Soccer’s technical director. His absence is only for a few weeks, and he continues to do club work remotely from the Caymans, said Guelph Soccer chair Dave Tack, in an email response on Wednesday.
The opportunity for Flores to coach a national team in a CONCACAF tournament was seen to be a good professional development opportunity for him and good for the local club, said Tack.
Renard Moxam, director of Cayman Islands national teams, is happy to have him on board: “I’m optimistic we will get good results with him as the leader of the coaching pack,” he said in an article at news outlet Cayman 27.
“He’s proven to be a very good coach. A calm coach. He has some really good features in what I would like to see in coaches going forward. We’re optimistic and looking forward to continue working with him.”
Flores has been questioned in the past about the legitimacy of his resume, which says that his playing days saw him compete in Serie A (Italy’s top league), the Olympics, and youth World Cups.
Last year, he was let go as coach of the K-W United women’s team due to inconsistencies in his playing credentials, United said.
The subject came up this week in the Cayman 27 article on Flores and his Cayman Islands gig.
“It was a personal vendetta,” Flores said about K-W United, in the article. “Politics from people.”
He said: “I’m not a soccer player anymore. I don’t play. My living is a coach and my coaching career is very good. And when you do the work that I do, there’s a lot of people that don’t like what you do or they want to have a different opinion. And I’m fine with that. But if they don’t have proof, it doesn’t bother me.”
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Speaking of K-W United, among those on the men’s Premier Development League team this season is Guelph’s Wesley Cain.
Cain (Centennial CVI), saw 24 minutes of action in United’s season opener on the weekend, a scoreless draw versus the Toronto Lynx.
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It would appear that Ottawa city hall doesn’t know Jack. Hitting the media this week was a story of a $45,000 case of mistaken identity in the nation’s capital.
According to an article at ctvnews.ca, a park installation dedicated to Ottawa youth sports activist Jack Purcell has apparently been accidently designed as a tribute to the late Guelph badminton champ Jack Purcell (no relation).
The park design includes a number of towering metal badminton racquet sculptures that cost the city $45,000 to commission, but they have nothing to do with Ottawa’s Jack Purcell. When the error was discovered, the racquets were left without strings.
City officials said in the article that they noticed the case of mistaken identity too late in the game to redo things. The metal sculptures are now meant to represent an urban forest, the story says.
Ottawa’s Jack Purcell was known as the “stick doctor” for repairing broken hockey sticks to donate to local youth. Guelph’s Jack Purcell became the world badminton champ in the early ’30s and has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
The story suggests the error might have come from a Google search, as the Guelph Purcell is a top result and he’s the only one of the two with a Wikipedia page.