The Cayman Islands Football Association in its continuing efforts to develop youth football on the island had its first session of its new initiative called the CIFA Youth Player Development Programme.
It was held last Saturday at the Annex with 32 boys in attendance ranging from 8-12 and a number of the island’s top girls.
This programme was directed by football’s technical director Carl Brown and was assisted by coaches Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour, Bobby McLaren, Arden Rivers, Loven Joven and Floyd Streete.
It lasted for nearly three hours and will be an ongoing event every Saturday morning until further notice.
Initially CIFA will be working with Cayman’s most promising football players and plans to expand from there.
These players are the island’s best young talent who have been selected from clubs and schools in the 11-13 age range.
The main focus of this programme is to develop them to form the core of the next generation of national team players.
President of CIFA Jeffrey Webb said: ‘I am happy to see CIFA restarting the Player Development Programme. This programme was launched a few years ago by the then technical director Marcio Maximo and was a tremendous success.
‘We are very happy to see the programme restarting, as player development is the main focus of CIFA, the technical director and the various coaches. It was definitely exciting and encouraging to see the interest shown by the players last Saturday.’
The training sessions will continue will take place at different venues each Saturday from 9am-12noon.
Brown was impressed by the turn out. He said: ‘This is like a dream come true. From last season persons have been asking what the plan is for these youngsters. I wanted to do something special as these young players should be treated special.
‘The response to this programme last Saturday was awesome and enormously encouraging coming from the coaches and parents.
‘We definitely need to start taking care of the talents that are clearly in abundance in the Cayman Islands to guarantee a better future for the game. I hope this trend will continue with the youngsters coming out each Saturday to improve on their talents.’
Seymour, coach of the national Under-20 team, was also overwhelmed with the turn out.
‘This is indeed a great start. It was very nice to see all of these elite young players together at one place at one time. This in my opinion is a positive indication for the future of football on the Cayman Island.’