Wood made solid pro debut

Theron Wood is making a big
impression during his trial at semi-professional Ashford Town Football Club in
west London and even received gushing praise from player-manager Jamie Lawrence
on his first-team debut.

“Theron has done really well, when
he came on the pitch he gave us something we have been missing, he was decent
in what he showed for forty-five minutes,” said Lawrence, a former Jamaica
international, last Saturday after Wood the Cayman Islands national representative
and Bodden Town striker played against Aylesbury FC in the Zamretto League, in
London.

Donald ‘Naddy’ Solomon another
national player and member of the Cayman Athletics SC senior team was on the
substitutes bench for Lewisham Borough FC for a game in the Kent County League.
He did not get the opportunity to take part due to the tightness of the game
which the club won 1-0.

President of the CIFA Jeffrey Webb
was quick to comment on the giant steps that these men have taken. “I am
tremendously impressed by the efforts and commitment that these boys have made
towards their future in football. I congratulate Wood on his inclusion in the
first team, I trust that he will stay focused and continue on this trend. This
result is a true testimony to hard work, determination and dedication; I hope
other youngsters will follow his example.”

Ashford will be signing Luigi
Hernandez to play for their Under-18 team possibly this week. This is to be
confirmed on Tuesday evening while Mark Ebanks who has impressed Ashford Town
scoring two goals during a practice game a week after they arrived in the UK,
will be resting to heal his hamstring injury.

The soft spoken Wood when asked how
he felt about the experience said: “I just feel that making the first team is
my first step to getting to the professional level. It’s a great accomplishment
for me, I am motivated by this therefore, I am going to train harder to step up
my game and do my best for Ashford Town FC.” 

This achievement will go down in
CIFA’s history books as the first taste of success resulting from the efforts
made by CIFA to send these four players to the UK to fulfil their dreams of
making it at the international level as professional footballers.

According to a report received from
George Davis manager of the Tenembee Academy in London the chaperone for the
four Caymanian players, Theron wood was advised that he had made Ashford’s
first team last Friday after playing particularly well during a reserve team
game.

 Fifteen minutes into the game Ashford took the
lead, but conceded two by the end of the first half. During the break Wood and
the other substitutes were practicing when he was called by coach Neil Cummings
and substituted at the start of the second half.

Three minutes into the game Wood
got his first touch of the ball as a first team player in the Zameretto League.
His touch and control was instant and the pass though simple was complete. This
gave him some confidence and his heading ability came into play, his movement
showed some understanding of the wide left position he had to play but he coped
well. The challenges and physical contact was new for him but again he showed
that he was learning quickly.

Resulting from his debut
performance, Wood is well on his way into the hearts of the Ashford spectators
as the comments and excitement during the after match discussion in the bar
indicated that  he could be a
favourite  providing he continues to
listen, learn and put in the required physical training.

During the after game discussion
both Lawrence and Cummings said that they were happy with what they saw and
therefore he would be in the squad again for the game on Tuesday night.

Davis went on to say that he is of
the opinion that Wood’s performance will open the doors for Luigi, Mark and
Donald as long as they show appetite, commitment, graft and improvement in
their weak areas especially with their on field communication.

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Wood made an impressive debut.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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