Caymanian footballers to train with DC United

| 06/04/2018
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Ethan Rivers, Jaden Ebanks and Ciaron Haylock heading to US for training

(CNS Local Life): Three young Caymanian footballers – Ethan Rivers, Jaden Ebanks and Ciaron Haylock – will be spending a week at US Major League Soccer team DC United later this month. With the assistance of and encouragement from the West Bay Sports Foundation, the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA), and two government ministries, Rivers from Windermere Prep in Florida, Ebanks of Academy SC and Haylock of Future SC, will attend the DC United Youth Academy from 14 -21 April.

The youngsters will train with the DC United Under 15 and Under 16 academy teams under the guidance of the club’s youth coaches in accordance with the its prestigious Development Academy Training Programme, stated a CIFA press release.

The programme provides a highly competitive environment to enhance players’ development. Activities are tailored to challenge players in the areas of technical actions with the ball and athletic movements and decision-making processes with and without the ball.

All sessions include small and full games for players to work on certain technical and tactical areas and to demonstrate their abilities and what they have learned in a game setting, including dribbling, passing and receiving and striking the ball.

West Bay Sports Foundation co-founder Arden Rivers spoke of the opportunity. “The foundation is happy to be able to offer these three young footballers the opportunity to train in a professional academy environment. Our focus is to continue to grow football by offering partnerships and experiences that provide true value to our local players. This visit is determined to bring an experience that will help advance these players to be the best they can be. In light of hosting the Cayman Invitational Under 15 Tournament, many young people in our community have benefited,” he said in the press release.

Two young Caymanians each have previously trained at Manchester City Academy and Orlando City SC, and a selection of Cayman’s young national team female players have benefited from a free football camp session held at Camana Bay conducted by the Manchester City Academy coaches, Rivers explained.

“Without partnership of our sponsors, this feat would not be possible. On behalf of the foundation, I wish to thank all sponsors for partnering with us in our mission to make a difference in our community by empowering our youth to be great role models by achieving significance in life through success in sports and education,” he added.

The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands, and the Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport also assisted with the effort to send the three footballers to DC United.

Ebanks and Haylock are members of the Cayman Islands Under 17 Boys National Team and recently represented their country at the 2017 CONCACAF Under 15 Boy’s Championships in Bradenton, Florida.

Rivers has been attending Windermere Preparatory School in Windermere, Florida, for the past two years and plays with the school’s varsity team.

Alfredo Whittaker, CIFA president, added, “This is a great opportunity for our young Caymanian players. I wish them all the best and am confident that they will impress at DC United”.

To prepare for this training opportunity, the boys have been working out with Peter Reijn, youth development and skills coach of Total Soccer Cayman, who said, “The boys have been very eager to learn at training. I hope the technical training and chats we had over the last month will help them in achieving their dreams.”

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Category: Football, Sports, Youth

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