Sebastian Martinez is the brilliant Caymanian footballer who is blazing a trail with English professional club Swindon Town.
The tiny 13-year-old is so talented that he was given an 18-month contract with the Division Two side a couple of months ago and is learning his craft there, an unusual move for an English club considering how many millions of youngsters are trying to get into clubs locally andfrom around the world. That is the measure of Martinez’s ability. Swindon’s Under-13s are so good that they play much bigger clubs like Liverpool and Cardiff City.
In a couple of months, the West Bay Sports Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Cayman Islands Football Association, CUC and a number of local companies will be hosting Swindon Town’s celebrated Under-13 squad from the United Kingdom for a week of training and exhibition games.
The team will play three games against local select teams. Games will be at the TE McField Annex in George Town and the Ed Bush Field in West Bay.
The connection with Swindon started in July when Martinez, 12 at the time, left coach Virgil Seymour’s Academy for Swindon on a six-week trial. So impressive was he despite being out of his comfort zone and having to play against substantially bigger and more skilful opponents than he was used to, that Swindon decided to give him the contract.
Sebastian’s contract was made possible by Swindon Town talent scout, the former Jamaica international midfielder Fitzroy Simpson. His recommendation was supported by the Cayman Islands Government and through a collaborative effort his move to England was made possible.
Minister of Sports Mark Scotland said: “Our research shows that Swindon Town is focused on its youth development programme and their young talent has been attracting attention from the bigger clubs in the Premiership. The ministry shares the vision of developing our youth through sports and so we are more than happy to play a significant role in making Swindon Town’s visit possible.
“I also thank the private sector entities that have assisted thus far in making this trip possible especially CUC and the West Bay Sports Foundation.”
Ardin Rivers of the West Bay Sports Foundation said: “The exposure and experience gained from playing against a professionally-based academy team such as Swindon Town will further enhance the development of our national sport at the youth level.”
For further details on Swindon Town’s visit, contact Barry Martinez on 926-2732 or Ardin Rivers 927-7011