Caymanian footballer signs with Portuguese club

| 11/08/2017
CNS Local Life

Sebastian Martinez displays the colours of his new club, Leixões SC

(CNS Local Life): Following a three-week trial, aspiring 18-year-old Caymanian footballer Sebastian Martinez signed a two-year professional contract 7 August with Leixões Sports Club (SC) of Portugal. Located in Matosinhos, a city and municipality in the northern Porto district of Portugal, Leixões SC plays in the LigaPro, which is the second-highest division of the Portuguese football league after the Primeira Liga. The 2017/18 regular season is already under way.

Leixões SC has a very close relationship with two of Portugal’s top clubs – SL Benfica and SC Braga.

Martinez makes the switch from English League 2 club Swindon Town Football Club, where he signed a development contract as a trainee with the prestigious Swindon Town Youth Academy in 2011 when he was 13. Most recently, in 2015, after making his mark in the youth ranks, he signed a two-year apprenticeship contract with the English club, stated a press release.

Thanks to the continuing efforts of Fitzroy Simpson, former player with Swindon Town, Manchester City and Portsmouth, and former Reggae Boy who starred for Jamaica in the 1998 World Cup, Martinez’s dream of playing professional football has become a reality. With Simpson’s guidance and through his tireless efforts, young Martinez blossomed at the Swindon Town Youth Academy, the youth teams and the senior reserve squad, the release said.

Simpson and his business partner, Ceasar Boaventura of GIC International Sports Company, who played a key role in brokering the agreement with the Portuguese outfit, will ensure that Martinez continues to work hard and develop at his new club.

After putting pen to paper, the young footballer said, “I want to thank all those that have supported me on my journey over the past six years, particularly Swindon Town Football Club, Jeremy Newton, Alan McLoughlin and Fitzroy Simpson for the magnificent opportunities and rigorous preparations; my parents and sisters for their support and unwavering belief in me; the rest of my family and friends; and the government of the Cayman Islands who have supported me since 2011. I am very excited and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as I embark on the next leg of my journey in Portugal.”

Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president Lee Ramoon said, “This is great news. Sebastian’s name will be forever enshrined in Cayman’s football history books. It proves that if our youngsters stick to the task at hand, remain committed and work hard, then success can be attained. Members of CIFA’s executive committee congratulate Sebastian on his achievement and wish him every success in Portugal.”

Barbara Conolly, the Acting Minister of Sports, said, “It is not surprising that Sebastian has earned a professional contract to play football. It was a dream of his years ago under the tutelage of Coach Winston Chung. Unlike most with similar dreams, however, Sebastian demonstrated a disciplined approach to his future and continued to achieve excellent grades in school while he steadily developed his football skills. The government is pleased to have been able to play a role in his development and we congratulate Sebastian on this achievement.”

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Category: Football, Sports

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  1. annonymous says:

    Congratulations Sebastian! You have done Cayman proud! Keep up the hard work, it will continue to pay off!