Football sensation Cameron Gray, 13, is in his third week at Reading Football Club’s Youth Academy in England following a successful trial period with the newly promoted Premiership club in March.
Gray’s talents were first noticed by Swindon Town’s youth coaches in February when the newly promoted Division One outfit’s Under-13 youth team visited the Cayman Islands for a three-game tour.
The tour was organised by the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture and the West Bay Sports Foundation in collaboration with a number of sponsors from the private sector.
Following his stellar performance for Academy Sporting Club against Swindon’s U-13s in the first match of the tour, Gray was invited to train with the Chelsea Youth Academy, then with Reading’s Academy and finally with Swindon’s Academy.
His visit to Swindon never materialised. Following a week-long visit with Chelsea where he impressed their coaching staff enough to be invited back for a further trial period, Gray spent three weeks at the Reading Academy and did so well that he was offered a contract to remain there.
Feeling very comfortable with the Reading Academy setup, Gray penned a two-year deal with the Premiership newcomers, which saw him begin pre-season training two weeks ago.
Prior to his departure, Gray said: “I’m very excited about joining Reading’s Youth Academy. It’s a dream come true for me and although I’m looking forward to joining my new team mates in England, I feel a little sad about leaving my friends and former team mates in Cayman. I’m committed to working hard to improve in the Reading programme and someday become a professional with Reading or another club.”
Cameron has enrolled at Forest School in Berkshire where he will begin his studies in September.
Proud father, Holland ‘Junior’ Gray, accompanied Cameron to Chelsea and Reading for his trials and helped him settle in at Reading. Holland and Cameron’s mother, Cherryl Moore, expressed their gratitude to those who supported their son during his trials with the Premiership clubs especially the West Bay Sports Foundation, Cayman Islands games, Maples and Calder and Academy Sporting Club.
Founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation, Ardin Rivers, said: “We are extremely happy for Cameron as he has proven what we believed all along that Cayman has the talent to succeed at the next level.
“With Sebastian Martinez (Swindon) and now Cameron attending prestigious football academies in England, they have set the bar for other youngsters who have that same dream of one day playing at the next level.
“We are proud to have played our part in ensuring that youngsters like Cameron have these opportunities. The foundation wishes him all the best.”
Cameron parting words were: “If you dream it, it will come true. Keep working hard and good things will happen.”