Twenty-one-year-old Tomas Jackson is packing his cleats and heading to the Netherlands in April. The Brac FC baller has been invited to train by Dutch coach and scout Roy Wilhelm, who on his last trip to Cayman Brac recognized the youth’s talent and potential.
“He is strong, technical, [and a] dynamic player who can play ‘box for box’ when he is in good shape,” said Wilhelm, who has watched Jackson’s progress for three years.
Wilhelm, who worked with the Cayman Islands Football Association’s summer camps in 2007-2011, was invited to a training and motivating workshop in 2013 by Mitch Sanford, Brac Football Club coach, and Moses Kirkconnell, minister of District Administration and MLA representing the Sister Islands. Since then, he has been involved with the workshop and “always enjoys the atmosphere, and the enthusiasm of the people,” in the Brac.
During his first week in the Netherlands, Jackson will concentrate on being trained individually, with special focus on his physical strength, speed, technique, and coordination and balance. This focus will also last throughout his stay.
In the following week, he is slated to train with a Belgian third division team, and in the third week with a second division Dutch club, VVV. He will also travel to London, where he will watch an Arsenal home game in the Emirates Stadium, followed by a tour of the arena to get a feel of Arsenal FC.
In his last week, Jackson will also train with another second division Belgian club and will be showcased to scouts from Germany, Holland, Belgium and the U.K.
Wilhelm has acknowledged Jackson’s ability to make good transitions, and has also described him as an intelligent player who “exactly knows when to play the ball and when to keep it.
“I believe in Tomas, therefore I invited him to be challenged,” said the Dutch coach. “By inviting Tomas, I have achieved two things: a challenge for a talented player, and a boost to keep players playing.
“The guy [Jackson] is very motivated and can’t wait to make his dream comes true.”