A professional youth football coach from England was here last week to assess the potential of Cayman’s best youngsters.
Excel Sports Management, an elite football development company, hosted Bryan Bull, Gillingham Academy development manager.
Gillingham plays in League One, English football’s third tier.
Bull has been coaching youngsters for nearly 30 years, the last 15 at Gillingham.
Bull heads up the schoolboy part of Gillingham’s academy that covers players ages 7 to 16. During his time at Gillingham, he has played a huge part in developing 32 players who have made their first team debuts.
His visit was made possible through a relationship with ESM director and Under-15 national coach Virgil Seymour.
“Our youth players don’t have the opportunities that kids have in England to be seen and scouted on a regular basis,” Seymour said. “Because of that, we have to work hard to bring people like Bryan to Cayman and showcase our talent.”
While on island, Bull assessed some of Cayman’s brightest youth players. He watched a friendly match between Academy Sports Club’s U-23 and the Cayman Islands national select U-23 squad, as well as scheduled games between U-12, U-13, U-15 and U-17 teams.
Bull said, “There is a great deal of raw talent here, but to make it the next level, players need proper development and opportunities to train and compete at a higher level.”
As the result of this initiative, several Caymanians will be invited to Gillingham for extended training opportunities in the near future.
Seymour said, “ESM would like to thank all of the local clubs, as well as the Cayman Islands Football Association for their assistance in making Bryan’s visit a great success.”