Local football company Excel Sports Management has an exciting summer lined up.
In November 2013, Kory McLean traveled to England with Academy Sports Club coach Virgil Seymour, who also heads ESM, and spent 10 days training with English League One club Gillingham.
After impressing the coaching staff, McLean was invited back for a six-week trial this summer and is there now with his father Kevin McLean.
A recent graduate of St. Ignatius High School, the 16-year-old’s local football accomplishments include captaining the Under-15 national team at the CONCACAF tournament last fall and helping Academy U-17 team to a league championship this season.
Coach Seymour said, “Kory is an exceptional young man, on and off the field. He gives 110 percent at training and his academics are excellent.
“He shows leadership in all aspects of his football. I believe Kory is well prepared physically and mentally. We wish him all the best and look forward to positive reports throughout the duration of his time at Gillingham.”
In addition to Gillingham, ESM has a strong partnership with Ipswich Town, an English Championship League side. Many local players have spent time there over the past two years, and Leighton Thomas Jr. completed a second trial over the Easter period at Ipswich, who are monitoring his progress keenly and have invited him back next year.
Seymour added, “It’s not as easy as we think to earn those scholarship spots in professional clubs. When players near age 16, the game changes and they either have the whole package or they don’t.”
During the recent Cayman Airways Invitation Youth Cup, Ipswich Town sent Duncan Wheeler, a member of their academy coaching staff, to scout local talent. He was impressed with the local talent.
ESM will be hosting an Elite Identification Summer Camp next week under the direction of Steve Foley, a senior member of the Ipswich Town Academy and UEFA qualified coach.
Foley will be on island from Monday to oversee the week-long camp and hopefully identify the next batch of local players who just might have what it takes to play professionally.
For more information about ESM football development programs, contact [email protected]