It was a strong turnout of both boys and girls under-11 and under-13 clubs from around Cayman at Academy Sports Club’s Mini Slam tournament Saturday 6th January. Technical Director Paul Byles says it’s a sign that youth football continues to grow.
“We got a few clubs that didn’t play before like Latinos FC, they have an under-11 boys team registered and won their first game. It’s very nice to see the clubs getting that support and see them come out and play.”
Byles added the tournament’s guest, American international Jozy Altidore was a big hit.
“The nice thing about Jozy is that he’s very energetic and very enthusiastic and he passes that energy onto the kids. The second thing is that he talks to kids like a regular guy and they seem to like that and appreciate that.
Altidore says he left athletes with a strong message he hopes resonates for years to come.
“It’s about how hard your work and how bad you want it, and not about what type of environment you come from. It’s about how hard you wanna work, the more you work the more you’ll get out of it.”
The tournament also saw the debut of a new football club, ‘345 FC’. Club President Chris Duggan says with just an under-11 and under-13 boys team, their goals align with the focus on the mini slam tournament: getting kids on the pitch.
“We haven’t got any seniors teams, our aim to develop youth football the more competition the better. We figure more teams the better standard of play.”
Byles adds the mini slam tournaments are an example of how Academy SC has taken youth development into their own hands across Cayman.
“We’re doing this because we don’t have a league yet right, and it’s sad to say, but it’s just what it is. We haven’t had a league for a long time, we’re not gonna wait for the league to start. We have some other ideas about getting the younger ones to play football as well.”
Here’s a look at all the results from Academy SC’s U11/U13 Mini Slam Tournament:
Champions – ASC Stingrays
Runner Up – 345 FC
Champions – ASC M9
Runner Up – Sunset Rovers
Champions – Academy Sports Club
Runner up – Sunset FC
Champions – Sunset FC
Runner up – Elite SC
Individual Player Awards
U11 Boys MVP – Joshua Elliott (ASC Stingrays)
U11 Boys Top Goal Scorer – Kyan Okoli (ASC Stingrays)
U11 Boys Fair Play Award – David Arch (Latinos FC)
U13 Boys MVP – Zion Bodden (ASC M9)
U13 Boys Top Goal Scorer – Anthony Catalanotto (Sunset Rovers)
U13 Boys Fair Play Award – Jevoughn Anderson (Future SC)
U11 Girls MVP – Clara Byrne (ASC)
U11 Girls Top Goal Scorer – Millie Hoffman (ASC)
U11 Girls Fair Play Award – Cayden Coles (Sunset FC)
U13 Girls MVP – Kayla Bradley (Sunset FC)
U13 Girls Top Goal Scorer – Stoyana Stewart (Elite FC)
U13 Girls Fair Play Award – Erin Parchment (Elite SC)