Academy Sports Club ready for competition at Cayman Airways U14 Invitational

Academy Sports Club ready for competition at Cayman Airways U14 Invitational

Academy Sports Club is ready for June football fever at the upcoming 3rd Annual Cayman Airways U14 Invitational Youth Cup. Coming straight from a successful football season with the U15 team winning the league and placing second in the FA Cup, the U14 team is now getting ready to rumble with teams from Jamaica, the USA, and the UK.

Not content with just performing well in local football, a number of the U14 boys also recently represented their team at the U15 Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Cup, which was held in May. During that tournament they managed to pull out impressive results against difficult teams, drawing all three of their games against top tier opponents Club Deportivo, IMG Academy, and Seattle Sounders FC. Unfortunately, they were unable to make it through to the semi-final stage despite not sustaining a loss.

However, Head Coach Paul Byles says that the extremely valuable experience his players have gained has been much more formative than simply winning matches. “Every player benefits regardless of the actual result of the match,” he said. “It is a unique opportunity for the players to experience exposure against some of the top international teams such as English Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur.”

Dominic Owens, captain of Academy’s U14 team, shares the opinion that winning isn’t the most important thing about playing football. For him, much of the enjoyment lies in entertaining the people in the stands. “My absolute favourite thing about playing football is the adrenaline rush that comes from the fans watching us,” he said. “I hope that there will be a lot of support at the games.”

Support for the boys will definitely be necessary, as the lineup of visiting teams promises to create challenging and entertaining matches that shouldn’t be missed. Particularly exciting is the inclusion of English Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur’s U14 academy. Also coming from the UK is Gillingham FC. The remaining visiting teams are Cavalier SC and Harbour View FC from Jamaica, and REV Soccer Club and IFFDC from the United States. Sunset FC rounds out the local representation.

Academy’s commitment to inclusion is represented well in their team roster. Cayman Prep and High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Clifton Hunter High School, Cayman International School and Triple C School are all represented on the team, and length of time with Academy varies from six years all the way to two seasons. The boys will seek to prove that commitment to unity and teamwork during the tournament.

The Academy U14 team stands as follows: Mathew Haynes, Jack Slater, Luke Byles, Dominic Owens, Corey Smith, Jahmai Griffiths, Mason Duval, Rohelio Wright, Conor Crighton, Gunnar Studenhofft, Victor Thompson, Ciaron Haylock, Harrison Hew, Aidan Bartice, Jonah Sigworth, Jackson Kirkconnel, Pierce Morgan, Mathew Cartagen, Maxwell Twight, and Azzuka Obi.

Academy’s first game of the tournament will be against IFFDC at Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Monday, June 20 at 6:30pm. The tournament will run from June 20-25.

For more information about the tournament visit www.caymanyouthcup.ky.

Follow the tournament and teams on Facebook www.facebook.com/CaymanYouthCup, Instagram and Twitter @caymanyouthcup.

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