Fresh from hosting the top Under-20 Women’s teams from the CONCACAF region, the Cayman Islands prepares to host more international competitions with the first ever C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament.
Youth teams from English League One club Swindon Town and Major League Soccer outfit Houston Dynamo are in a tri series with the Cayman Select U-15 squad.
James Clarkson, technical director for the Houston Dynamo Youth Academy said, “The games are an excellent opportunity to test our players against international competition.
“The chance to travel and play games will have a major impact on the players’ development on and off the field.”
Swindon Town’s Youth academy manager Jeremy Newton echoed Clarkson’s thoughts.
“The games will be a fantastic challenge for us and a good challenge physically and tactically for the players and the staff,” Clarkson said.
“We have brought some U-14s and it will be interesting to see how they cope along with the current U-15s.”
Both clubs have already established relationships with the Cayman Islands Football Association.
Three Caymanian teenagers are currently enrolled in the Swindon Town Youth Academy, while two youth teams from local club Sunset went to Houston and competed against the Dynamo Academy.
Teenagers Sebastian Martinez and Nathan Borde take to the field for Swindon Town against the national side on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Striker Kray Foster is also part of the Swindon Town set up.
Both clubs intend to use the trip as an opportunity to scout talent.
“I always use the opportunity to scout players, I was fortunate to be invited to the CONCACAF U-15s which gave me insight of the players and looking at systems the teams play, along with other players in the tournament,” Newton said.
Clarkson said, “Part of the purpose of the trip is to identify some potential players that we can invite to Houston for training opportunities with us.
“We also want to build a strong relationship with the island, as we feel it is going to be outstanding in helping with best practices, coaching education and player development.”
In addition to the three games, coaches from the visiting teams will conduct free training camps for players and local coaches.