Bodden Town has one of the best football programmes in Grand Cayman and that is evident by the fact that so many youngsters are getting scholarships in the United States.
The latest talented player to do so is Ramon Sealy who this week went to the University of West Florida in Pensacola to continue studying for his degree in Information Technology.
A brilliant batsman and wicket-keeper in cricket, Sealy, seized the chance to complete his education and further his football career with this opportunity.
Initially he will have to pay for his own board and expenses until the full scholarship kicks in by September.
Sealy, 19 in April, will represent the university in the NCAA Collegiate Division 2.
The college football season has just ended and matches don’t resume until the fall but strength and conditioning training begins next week and Sealy hopes to become the top pick of three keepers.
‘I want to be a starter on the team,’ said Sealy. ‘I enjoy cricket but will be concentrating on football for now. I haven’t really decided yet which to focus on in the future.
‘Michael Gurzong will replace me at Bodden Town. It may be tough for them but they have good players.’
Bodden Town ran away with the First Division title last season and have mixed results this term in the Premier League.
The youngest team in the Premiership, average age 19, they are nevertheless holding their own and last season caused an upset by beating Elite in the FA Cup final.
Elite had won the Premiership easily and also taken the Digicel Cup. The two sides meet again on Sunday in the Digicel Cup semi-final.
Bodden Town technical director Elbert McLean has been training the youngsters for 12 years and is proud of the way his youth programme is going. In the last two years McLean has been joined by assistant coach Al Frederick.
McLean said: ‘I always thought Michael was a better keeper than Ramon but at 17 he is younger and less experienced.
‘In fact in the three matches Michael has played for us in the Premiership we haven’t lost.
‘Ramon is an excellent keeper and has the potential to be a pro, definitely. It would never happen for him if he stayed here, the island is too small. He is going to make it.’
Sealy is the fourth footballer to get a scholarship through Bodden Town. The others are Craig Bodden, Jonathan Ebanks and Tevon Levien.
‘It’s not just about progressing their football careers,’ added McLean. ‘It’s about getting them a good education. All our teams from Premiership to youth are doing well and we look forward to more players getting scholarships. All of them in the programme are Caymanians too.’