Ahead of a CONCACAF Under-15 football tournament scheduled here in August, a warm-up tournament will be staged in Cayman next month.
The second annual U-15 Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup, which runs from May 5 to 10, will feature three local teams and five international teams.
The tournament will host Ipswich Town (United Kingdom), IMG Academy (Florida), Chicago Fire (Chicago), St. George’s College (Jamaica) and FC Motagua (Honduras).
The visiting teams will take on local sides Academy Select, West Bay Select and the Cayman Islands National U-15s.
Virgil Seymour, Academy Sports Club technical director, said, “We are thrilled to have such high-profile, talented international teams joining the tournament this year.
“It’s going to be an exciting and intense time for our local teams as we have even more high-caliber international players coming to the tournament this year.”
Arden “Cheeky” Rivers, West Bay Sports Foundation founder and director, said this is a great opportunity to expose young players to new levels of play and help build sportsmanship.
“This year we have three local teams participating, whereas last year we only had one,” Rivers said. “We are excited that as host country for the tournament, we will have so many talented players representing Cayman.”
Fabian Whorms, president and chief executive officer for Cayman Airways said, “Cayman Airways is honored to be the title sponsor again for this event as we strongly believe in supporting our local youth sports programs.
“Tournaments such as these are critical to building sports tourism by attracting players and their families to our beautiful islands, and we congratulate the organizers for making this tournament even bigger and better this year.”
Ipswich Town director of recruitment Steve McGavin said, “Our boys have been testing their strengths and capabilities amongst each other in preparing themselves for the Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup.
“We are all grateful to be a part of this event and look forward to exploring more of the Cayman Islands as this will be the first visit for most of the players and their families.”
Matches will be at the TE McField Annex in George Town and Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay, with the finals taking place at the Annex. Cayman players to watch out for, organizers say, include Kareem Foster, Kion Parchmont. Albertini Holness and Nicholas Chung.
Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden said, “We are very pleased to endorse and support the Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup.
“Kudos to the founders, West Bay Sports Foundation and Academy Sports Club for bringing such quality teams to our turf.
“I look forward to all the talent that’s going to be displayed at this tournament and encourage everyone to come out and support this event and our Cayman teams that will be participating.”
Organizers West Bay Sports Foundation and Academy Sports Club said they are grateful to this year’s sponsors.