Three young Caymanian footballers – Ethan Rivers, Jaden Ebanks and Ciaron Haylock – will be spending a week at Major League Soccer outfit DC United in April.
With assistance and encouragement from the West Bay Sports Foundation, the Cayman Islands Football Association, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands and the Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport, Ethan from Windermere Prep in Florida, Jaden of Academy SC and Ciaron of Future SC, will attend with the DC United Youth Academy from April 14-21.
The youngsters will train with the DC United Under 15 and Under 16 academy teams under the guidance of the club’s youth coaches, in accordance with the club’s Development Academy Training Program.
The training program provides a highly competitive environment to enhance players’ development. Activities are tailored to challenge players in the areas of technical actions with the ball, athletic movements and decision-making processes with and without the ball. All sessions include small and full games for players to work on certain technical and tactical areas and to demonstrate their abilities and what they have learned in a game setting, including dribbling, passing, receiving and striking the ball.
Commenting on the opportunity, West Bay Sports Foundation co-founder Arden Rivers said: “The Foundation is happy to be able to offer these three young footballers the opportunity to train in a professional academy environment. Our focus is to continue to grow football by offering partnerships and experiences that provide true value to our local players. This visit is determined to bring an experience that will help advance these players to be the best they can be.
“In light of hosting the Cayman Invitational Under 15 Tournament, many young people in our community have benefited. Under similar arrangements in the past, two young Caymanians were sent to the Manchester City Academy for a week of training, two players were also hosted at Orlando City SC and a selection of Cayman’s young national team female players benefited from a free football camp session held at Camana Bay conducted by the Manchester City Academy coaches.”
Jaden and Ciaron are current members of the Cayman Islands Under 17 Boys National Team, and recently represented Cayman at the 2017 CONCACAF Under 15 Boy’s Championships in Bradenton, Florida. Ethan has been attending Windermere Preparatory School in Windermere, Florida, for the past two years and plays with the school’s varsity team.
Alfredo Whittaker, President of the Cayman Islands Football Association added, “This is a great opportunity for our young Caymanian players. I wish them all the best and am confident that they will impress at DC United.”
To prepare them for this training opportunity, the boys have been working out with Peter Reijn, Youth Development and Skills Coach of Total Soccer Cayman, who said, “The boys have been very eager to learn at training. I hope the technical training and chats we had over the last month will help them in achieving their dreams.”