Dutch coaches weave their magic on local kids once again

Some of Dutch football’s best youth coaches assessed Cayman Islands talent.

The Cayman Islands Football Association put on its annual Dutch football camp last week at Camana Bay and drew dozens of youngsters. All were instructed by youth coaches affiliated with Holland-based club PSV Eindhoven and Dutch guru Roy Wilhelm.

No stranger to these shores, Wilhelm said he saw raw talent on his seventh sojourn here.

“For seven years, I’ve been coming to Cayman,” Wilhelm said. “The kids want to work hard and in these camps, the kids work hard. These kids need to be pushed hard. Being European, you naturally have an impatient style. Europeans want to change things yesterday, whereas in Cayman, change comes months or years later. It’s different working in the Caribbean.

“Cayman needs to develop its talent so that one day it can qualify for the World Cup. Cayman deserves a better football future than they have currently assembled. There is talent here. If people wait, they will waste a whole generation.”

Camana Bay hosted the Dutch contingent for the second straight year. The camp catered to kids aged 6-18, with the focus being on football fundamentals, including passing, defending and shooting.

Among this year’s participants were Vincent Lachance, 14 and Philip-Andrew Sciamonte, 13. Both youngsters said this year’s camp was better than previous editions.

“This is my fourth year in the camp and in years past, there were more older players,” Lachance said. “This year it’s more individual training. It’s easier to learn.”

“This is my third year in the camp and I like the camp a lot,” Sciamonte said. “You learn a lot of new skills while playing with new players. This year, there was a smaller group of older kids so there was a lot of individual training and the coaches would help you with mistakes.

Something coach Roy always said was if you try hard, you can be better.”

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