Bodden Town has a thriving football
set up, evidenced by its burgeoning trophy cabinet in recent years. Last week
hundreds of kids attended one of the best summer football camps on the Islands
at the Bodden Town playing field headed by coach Elbert McLean who had a
support team of a dozen coaches, mostly young players passing on tips to the
Star Under-17 keeper Emily Kelly
coached the girls’ group with Lanie McLaughlin and the other coaches included
Thiago Cunha, Dion Brandon and most of the Bodden Town Premier League side, including
Elbert’s son Charlo and captain Luigi Hernandez.
“The camp was very successful again
and I want to “The camp was very successful again and I want to give thanks to
all the sponsors who made it possible, especially Mark Scotland (Bodden Town
president and also minister of sport),” said McLean. “On Monday we started off
with 121, Tuesday we had 148. Wednesday we had 150 and Thursday we had 160 and
we finished the camp with 180. All the kids have been enjoying themselves. We
gave them lunch, snacks, water and Gatorade and at the end they got a t-shirt.
“Each day we taught them a basic
skill and then we played a lot of small games. The main focus of the camp was
the disciplinary aspect of the game. All round it was a very successful camp
and I thank all who made it possible and came by to help support it.”
Bodden Town goalkeeper Ramon Sealy
who is studying at the University of West Florida, came over and brought some
fellow students to play a game against a Bodden Town select Under-20. It was
supposed to be at the TE McField Annex but McLean spoke to coach Gillie Seymour
and got it switched to Bodden Town.
“I’m glad I asked them to change it
because it was really educational for our players and campers,” said McLean.
“They got to interact the different cultures.”
Emily Kelly is here for her
summer’s break and she’s keeping busy by coaching at the East End camp this
week and George Town next week. She won a football scholarship to attend
Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire last year and when she returns for year
11 at the end of August will be going to a tournament in Montreal, Canada as
part of her pre-season preparation. Goal keeping coach Paul Campbell will be on
the trip which is an advantage for Kelly who loves the position but obviously
still has a lot to learn.
It’ll be a big year for her as it’s
the final one before getting into college. Kelly hopes for a football scholarship
at the University of California, Los Angeles and hopes that her coach, who has
connections there, can get her in. It all depends on her academic grades though
which she struggled slightly with last year being at a new school and having to
be away so often for Cayman Under-17 duty in the World Cup qualifiers. Kelly is
16 in November. She said: “Everything is going well. It was hard being away
from my football friends and family at first and also all the travelling which
disrupted my studies. This year I want to improve my skills and practice hard.
I’m looking forward to it because we’ll be going to college showcases. I’m
looking forward to scouting them.”
Now too old for Cayman’s U-17s,
she’s looking forward to playing for the U-20 side with mostly the same girls
who had so much success previously.