Youth welcome overseas teams

Grand Cayman plays host to the inaugural 2009 Cayman Classic Youth Football Tournament from today until Thursday.

It’s an exciting U-17 competition with participating teams from Jamaica, Haiti, the United States and the Cayman Islands.

Following a similar format to the very popular and highly successful Miami Classic of the Eighties the tournament is organized by Academy and George Town Sports Clubs. The main organiser is coach Winstron Chung.

The competition is sanctioned by the Cayman Islands Football Association and the Ministry of Sports. The tournament is destined to become a true youth football classic as well as a definite highlight on the islands’ sporting calendar.

It is said that the lifeblood of a society is its young people, the greatness of a nation is the excellence achieved by its youth.

True to form, Cayman’s finest U-17 talent will face the best the region has to offer. The visiting teams boast an impressive line-up of current U-17 national players, state champions and promising youngsters.

Historically, Haiti and Jamaica have done well at the youth international level and both club teams appearing at this year’s Classic will be showcasing a number of very talented, experienced youngsters.

Jamaican teams have always enjoyed great support when visiting our shores and the 2009 Cayman Classic will be no different. For the Haitians, it will be their first time in Cayman but they are sure to excite, impress and entertain the crowds with their excellent play.

The participating club team from the US, Weston Fury Soccer Club, hail from South Florida and are a seasoned team who have sharpened their skills and developed their style of play from a young age while progressing through the club ranks.

The Weston Soccer Club boasts a number of youth teams ranging from U-9 to U-18, all involved with local leagues in South Florida and participating in many tournaments throughout the US.

Not to be outdone, the Cayman Islands will be well represented as four U-17 teams from around the island will be participating in the Classic.

For many of our local youngsters it will be their first taste of international football having already gained some experience while participating in CIFA youth leagues.

The step-up to the international level is a leap in the right direction and can only be achieved through tournaments like the 2009 Cayman Classic as our young players gain invaluable experience in their development.

Games are scheduled for the Annex Field in George Town and Ed Bush Sports Centre in West Bay.

Supporters of ‘the beautiful game’ are encouraged to come out and support the youngsters as they battle for the 2009 Cayman Classic title. It’s an investment in our future and the future of our national sport.