Thirty-six up-and-coming youth footballers between the ages of 13 and 16 had their skills put to the test over the weekend at the Flow Ultimate Football Experience, a competition put together by Flow and Manchester United Football Club and supported by the Caribbean Football Union.
The boys and girls vied for the chance to participate in a talent development football camp in Trinidad and possibly win a trip to Old Trafford, Manchester, to visit the facility and see Manchester United play.
In the end, it was 16-year-olds Cody Ebanks and D’Andre Rowe, both of Cayman Athletic Sports Club, who best demonstrated the abilities needed to compete with 28 other players from the other 14 Flow markets around the Caribbean, organizers said in a press release.
Local coaches Lee Ramoon, Bruce Sigsworth and Ernie “Gillie” Seymour put the kids through their paces at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in a series of challenges that tested their dribbling, short passing and control. The program was specially designed for the event by coaches at the Manchester United Soccer School, and the 36 talented footballers were chosen by their clubs and/or school coaches.
Cody and D’Andre, along with coach Seymour, now advance to a two-day skills session in Trinidad and Tobago for one-on-one training with CFU and Manchester United Soccer School coaches. The athletes and the coaches will participate in a series of drills designed by the coaches and compete for the trip to the U.K. to see Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season. The VIP experience will also include a Manchester United Museum visit and a tour of the stadium.
“Flow is pleased to have the opportunity to provide this kind of experience helping to develop our youth in sports,” said Victor Salgado, managing director of Flow in the Cayman Islands.
“It was a great event for all the young players who took part,” said coach Ramoon, who is president of the Cayman Islands Football Association. “Being selected to participate was a key achievement. Then going through the Manchester United Soccer School skills-based assessment serves to benchmark the players’ technical and fundamental skills at the various age groups, helping to further build confidence and experience.”
The Ultimate Football Experience is one of several Manchester United and Flow partnership initiatives. In January, Flow hosted the FA Cup Caribbean Tour, which gave football fans unprecedented access to football’s most coveted trophy. The final leg of the tour culminated in Cayman, where Manchester United ambassador Dwight Yorke made an appearance.
Other than Cayman, The Flow Ultimate Football Experience will take place in BVI, Curacao, Montserrat, Trinidad, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts and Dominica.