Strong overseas lineup set for U-14 football tourney

| 17/06/2016
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Cayman Airways CEO Fabian Whorms and Minister of District Administration, Tourism and Transport Moses Kirkconnell

(CNS): Six international football teams are set to compete in the Cayman Airways U-14 Invitational Youth Cup, and local clubs Academy Sports Club and Sunset FC are gearing up for some exciting competition. This marks the third successive year for the event and the tournament will feature international teams Tottenham Hotspur and Gillingham from the UK, Harbour View and Cavalier FC from Jamaica and IFFDC and REV FC from the US.

The tournament will frun from 20-25 June 2016 and at both the Truman Bodden Sports Complex and Ed Bush Stadium.

At a press conference held earlier this week, sponsors discussed the benefits of the tournament. Among those present were Fabian Whorms, president and CEO of title sponsor Cayman Airways; Moses Kirkconnell, Deputy Premier and Minister of District Administration, Tourism and Transport; Joel Francis, Assistant Chief Officer in the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sport; Mark Campbell, of the Cayman Islands Football Association; Dave Scott, Academy Sports Club board chair; and Virgil Seymour, Academy head coach.

All noted the invaluable experience for Cayman’s male and female athletes of competing against international teams, helping them not only to focus on the hard work and dedication needed to achieve success but also to encourage them to aim high whether in sports or academics.

“The Ministry of Tourism is very pleased to once again partner with our national airline, Cayman Airways, for the advancement of sports tourism in the Cayman Islands,” Kirkconnell said.

“Events such as this U-14 tournament deliver immense economic benefits and helps to increase brand awareness of the Cayman Islands as a vacation destination in the minds of potential travellers. For the country, it helps to bring visitors to our shores during the slower shoulder season and for the players, it is a catalyst that builds lifelong relationships. From every perspective, sports tourism is a win/win niche market and the ministry is happy to provide sponsorship in support.”

Coach Seymour spoke about how much the players are looking forward to the tournament. “Recognising that the competition is going to be tough, they are training harder than ever and encouraging each other as the training gets harder. The boys are gearing up to represent their team and country to the best of their ability,” he said.

In line with the aims of the sponsors of this tournament, all of the clubs are committed to promoting youth footballing excellence, and are at the top of their games in their respective homes.

Part of the English Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur’s Football Academy develops talented young footballers from the age of 8 through 18, and provides support so that the players can achieve both academically and on the football pitch. Their ethos is team spirit, friendship, excellence, conduct and respect.

Gillingham Football Club runs an academy designed to bring through players for their first team. Footballers from ages 9-16 play in a games programme competing against other youth teams to ensure they get the level of experience needed to progress.

Cavalier Soccer Club are based in Kingston and play in the Jamaican National Premier League. Founded in 1962, the club is dedicated to lifting Jamaican football to an international standard, and recognising the importance of sportsmanship.

Harbour View, otherwise known as Stars of the East to their fans, are also Jamaica-based. Consistently present in the Jamaican Premier League their mission is to promote and encourage football professionalism and development.

IFFDC play out of Dallas, Texas. Formed in 2009, they are a football education provider offering a professional environment to young players who have not had the benefit of a club connection.

REV Soccer Club provides a fun but challenging environment where players can develop and enhance their skills and knowledge about the game of football. REV is one of the largest competitive football organisations in Minnesota.

The non-profit Academy Sports Club is run solely by volunteers who give the players access to organised football at a consistently high standard. They are committed to giving all the players the same opportunity irrespective of background and status. Club motto, “the books and the ball, you have it all”, sums up Academy’s mission.

Sunset FC is one of the oldest football clubs in Cayman. They promote soccer for all ages and boast an U-15 girls team, and senior men’s and ladies teams.


Category: Football, Sports, Youth

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