George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – Fresh from hosting the top Under 20 Women’s teams from the CONCACAF region, the Cayman Islands prepares to host more international competitions with the first ever C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament.
Youth teams from English League One club Swindon Town FC and Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Houston Dynamo contest a tri series against the Cayman Select Under 15 squad.
James Clarkson, Technical Director for the Houston Dynamo Academy told CONCACAF.com, “The games are an excellent opportunity to test our players against international competition. The chance to travel and play games will have a major impact on the player’s development on and off the field.”
Swindon Town’s Academy Manager Jeremy Newton echoed Clarkson’s thoughts on the trip.
“The games will be a fantastic challenge for us and a good challenge physically and tactically for the players and the staff. We have brought some under 14s and it will be interesting to see how they cope along with the current Under 15s.”
Both clubs have already established relationships with the Cayman Islands FA.
Three Caymanian teenagers are currently enrolled in the Swindon Town Youth Academy while two youth teams from local club Sunset FC travelled to Houston and competed against the Dynamo Academy.
Teenagers Sebastien Martinez and Nathan Borde take to the field for Swindon Town against the national side on Tuesday, February 18th. Striker Kray Foster is also part of the Swindon Town set up.
Both clubs intend to use the trip as an opportunity to scout talent.
“I always use the opportunity to scout players, I was fortunate to be invited to the CONCACAF U15s which gave me insight of the players and looking at systems the teams play, along with other players in the tournament,” Newton said.
Clarkson said, “Part of the purpose of the trip is to identify some potential players that we can invite to Houston for training opportunities with us. We also want to build a strong relationship with the island, as we feel it is going to be outstanding in helping with best practices, coaching education and player development.”
In addition to the three games, coaches from the visiting teams will conduct free training camps for players and local coaches.