U15 national team trains at Celtic football camp

| 04/07/2017
CNS Local Life

The U15 national team at the Celtic camp

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands National U15 team recently attended an exclusive Celtic FC ID Camp, held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The trip offered a unique chance for the boys not only to develop their skills but also as a stepping-stone to the CONCACAF U15 Boys Championship in August. For many of these youngsters, this summer marks their first appearances for the Cayman Islands.

Team head coach Bruce Sigsworth noted the camp was at the same location as the August CONCACAF tournament will be held, enabling the boys and coaches to familiarise themselves with the facilities.

“The trip to IMG for the Celtic ID Camp was both a challenging and rewarding experience, for the boys individually and as a team, learning their strengths and where there is need for improvement,” he said. “They were part of presentations on the attributes of a youth footballer and a Celtic Academy player, clearly seeing the commitment and mindset needed.”

The camp ran from 8-12 June, and involved expert field sessions, sport psychology seminars and one-to-one meetings with professional coaches. Luke Byles, 15, spoke of how the trip presented a rare chance the players have not experienced previously. “We were able to showcase the skills we have developed over the last four years of training together in a new environment and in front of professional coaches,” he said.

Sigsworth said before the trip that resources such as goalkeeping coaches would be heavily utilised as they were a resource in short supply in the Cayman Islands. National goalkeeper Theo Ritch-Whiteside agreed, saying “Gaining goalkeeping-specific training was a new and welcome experience, and allowed me to fully focus and tailor training to my needs, while identifying how I can work with the defensive players and keep a clean sheet in future.”

Tean manager Marilyn Conolly noted that in addition to technical skills, the boys’ social development is invaluable for the long-term success of the national squad.

“This experience developed many of the social and mental skills such as leadership, commitment, personal responsibility, and discipline needed to succeed in August,” she said. “The boys have been provided with expert knowledge and an environment with which they can develop not only as individuals, but as a team.”

The upcoming CONCACAF championship in August will see the team play in the third division against some of the best young players in fixtures against Aruba, Bonaire and Saint Martin.


Category: Football, Sports, Youth

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