Youth Cup helped locals grow

The Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup was won by the English professional club Charlton Athletic who beat another pro side, Real Espana, 3-0 at the TE McField Annex on Sunday.  

The two Most Valuable Players awards went to Charlton’s Nathaniel Wan and their captain Dan Birch. 

Other outstanding players were Cayman B’s Ackeem Hyde and Cayman A’s keeper Jayden Downey and his team-mates Kareem Foster, Jiffon Robinson and Corey Mellano. Charlton strikers Luke Carey and Kareem Isiaka also impressed.  

On Saturday evening, there was a match in Cayman Brac, between American side IMG Academy and Jamaica’s Harbour View, for third place.  

It was a really close game with IMG winning 1-0. More than 200 spectators attended the Brac match and thoroughly enjoyed it.  

A consolation game before Sunday’s final was won 1-0 by Cayman B against Cayman A, the scorer Kamani Ebanks.  

Education Minister Tara Rivers was among the dignitaries at the final. Overall, it was considered a successful tournament and great for the Cayman kids to experience better opposition than they are used to. 

Cayman A head coach Virgil Seymour said that his players benefited immensely from playing against other nations whose standards are higher.  

“Going forward, we have a better idea of where we stand,” he said. “Charlton and Real Espana did not have much over us really.” 

Seymour admitted that Charlton were able to use the width of the pitch better but in terms of tactical awareness, skill, speed and fitness, they were not much further ahead.  

He added, “In the next few weeks, we’ll discuss our approach to the next tournament here or whether we go abroad to play.” 

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Luke Carey, left, was one of Charlton’s best players. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD
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1 COMMENT

  1. Seymour admitted that Charlton were able to use the width of the pitch better but in terms of tactical awareness, skill, speed and fitness, they were not much further ahead.
    Never saw any of these games but ran into a veteran Caymanian coach after one of the Cayman teams lost to Charlton 4-1 and told him the match I would come watch is Charlton vs Espana…for the purpose of seeing two contrasting styles of football.
    His response was, Charlton ain’t sayin nuttin !, in good ole Caymanian style.
    Taking Mr. Seymour’s comments as a follow-on, the age-old problem only highlights itself.
    These coaches have NEVER admitted when a foreign team is better than Cayman, regardless of results…
    Because they don’t know what ‘better’ football is.
    Instead of sending and carrying teams abroad to England and other countries…
    These coaches need to take THEMSELVES abroad and get seconded to clubs in the Premiership and Championship and other European leagues and LEARN to coach BETTER football for at least a season, if they can afford the time off from their full-time careers.
    Then they will see the results reflected in their teams and Cayman’s football might improve a bit.

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