Chance for baby steps to glory

Children as young as four will be able to learn football in a structured environment by qualified coaches thanks to an initiative by the Cayman Islands Football Association.

For the past two Saturdays local coaches and footballers alike – some still in their teens – have attended a course at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex as part of the new ‘Footprints’ programme. It is part of the FIFA Grassroots Development coaching programme and around 25 people attended.

This training session was conducted by Footprints coordinator and CIFA youth development officer Marcos Tinoco, national technical director Carl Brown and national women’s coach Thiago Cunha. The Footprints initiative targets the 4-12 year old age group.

The worldwide Grassroots scheme encourages as many youngsters as possible to get actively involved in the game so that basic skills and knowledge can be learned at the earliest possible age. So competitive is professional football today that even infants now need to get into a programme to have a realistic chance of becoming adult pros at the top level.

Tinoco was pleased with the feedback and enthusiasm of his students. He said: “We as instructors were very impressed to see a turnout of this magnitude, we appreciate their commitment and their keen participation.

“We look forward to working with them as professionals who will be always prepared prior to caring out their weekly assignments in order to pass on positive attitudes to young children.

“These students brought a lot of questions and I’m confident they will be good coaches. I hope we can not only develop good footballers but also good coaches. Even teenage girls and boys were in this programme because we want to get coaches who love little kids to pass on their knowledge in Footprints.