Cayman teen signs withUK football club

| 04/11/2011

Photo 2 Sebastian Martinez (264x300).jpg(CNS): Local teen football star, 13-year-old Sebastian Martinez, has been signed up on an 18-month contract with Swindon Town Football Club in the UK. Martinez has already scored his first goal for the U13 development team against Bournemouth as the teen begins living his dream, officials from GIS have reported. With outstanding technique, speed and a remarkable feel for the game, Sebastian stood out from early on as he played for local Academy Sports Club’s U13 side. Before his departure, he was also named this year’s Most Valuable Player in the U13 league as well as the League Cup.

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I think it is brilliant that he has the chance to do this,” said dad Barry Martinez, who said the road to Swindon Town was paved with the help of many ardent supporters.

“Sebastian’s coaches at Academy Sports Club, Mr Winston Chung and Mr Virgil Seymour, were always looking and pushing for opportunities for him. He also had tremendous support from the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sports and Footballs’ Technical Director, Carl Brown, who introduced him to former Swindon player and talent scout Fitzroy Simpson, who visited the Cayman Islands earlier this year,” Martinez told GIS.

What started as a two-week trial this July, turned into six weeks with Sebastian playing football at Liverpool, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, and Cardiff to name a few. Impressing his adopted club, he was subsequently offered the year-and-a-half contract.

Preparing for his first really cold winter, Sebastian stays in touch with friends and family via phone calls and BBM.

“I hope this opens doors for the many other talented players we have in the Cayman Islands,” said his dad. “We seriously need to pay attention to developing our young athletes. The fact that Sebastian is playing for a major club overseas shows others what is possible.”

Sports Minister Mark Scotland said the ministry would continue to work with the Cayman Islands Football Association to create opportunities for local players.

“Sports development is high on our agenda. Not only does this give talented youngsters opportunities to broaden their horizons, but it also gives our young people positive ideals to aspire to,” the minister said. “I would like to commend Sebastian’s parents for their tireless efforts in creating this opportunity for him”.

Scotland added that the ministry and CIFA are looking forward to a long-standing relationship with Swindon.

Category: Sports

Comments (37)

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  1. Jim Walther says:

    Great oppurtunity for the young man. I train a 13 year old boy that has the potential to play at that level as well. How do I go about it?


  2. Poppy says:

    Good luck to the lad, but do most of these posters realise where Swindon are in the footie pecking order?

    • Anonymous says:

      As someone who was born and raised in Swindon, who grew up supporting them from the age of 3, who followed them from the lower divisions to the Premier League and then back down again, who attended training camps with them, and whose family still lives in and supports Swindon, I do indeed know where they are in the pecking order.

      But, do you realise that most professional footballers do not miraculously get discovered by the big teams but actually develop through the smaller clubs. So, it's a starting point and good luck to him. I hope he makes it and develops into a brilliant player, both for his sake and for Swindon's.

      • Lionel Messy says:

        That would be true if this was 1985.  Nowadays the big clubs get in all the best talent when they are still kids.  How many transfers are there from the Championship to the Premiership now?  Hardly any.  A leap from the lower leagues just does not happen.  Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain are the exceptions now, not the rule.  So I agree that I hope he does really well and enjoys it.  But we have to be realistic about how the football industry works now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can I just say as a parent of one of the Swindon town u13s , the boys are really looking forward to coming over to your amazing place on tour and that’s why I just thought I would read the comments that have been posted , I understand all the comments that have been made , but would just like to add that yes if you look at the first team in the pecking order of English football they are not high up , but are doing well at the moment , but these boys are good and get to play all the top teams in the country ,They lost 1-0 at man utd before Christmas and really should of beat them . Swansea are in the premiership and Swindon won that game 9-0, they also drew with Chelsea and only just lost to Liverpool which Sebastian played in and done really well . There are players in this team that are being watched by premiership teams and u will see that one lad has just turned down a move to Chelsea ! . If your good enough it doesn’t matter where you start Look after our boys please , they can’t wait to come to the cayman . Regards from a swindon parent .

    • Anonymous says:

      Does that really matter?  Guess you started at the top of the ladder did you or are you still on the first rung?

      Good luck to the young boy.

      • Spirit of 66 says:

        You obviously have no idea how football works today.  The big clubs get all the best young talent by that age.  There are no ladders to climb.  Realistically young talent cannot move up, but rather tends to move down the football ladder as they age.  There are very very few exceptions nowadays and certainly those excpetions are not from clubs as lowly as Swindon Town.

  3. Profound Reality! says:

    Enjoy the experience lil one.You deserve it.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Sebastian and those who helped hime to this point. This shows that responsible parenting and supportive school & commmunity programs can develop successful, productive youth. Sebastian's story could have easily been otherwise.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats, Barry and family…

    Good to see some of the youths continuing the tradition; we couldn't do it but they will.

    Ever since Cayman lost your generation of players without advancing the status of the game in Cayman, its now all about the individual youths who are truly gifted for the game and gettingthem the opportunities.

    There is no better developmental system for footballers from Cayman than out here in England…if they can stay the course and work as hard as they need to to make the grade as full professionals…of the millions of youths playing football in a developmental program, only a handful ever make it to full professional status so the opportunity Sebastian has earned cannot be take lightly.

    The headline could have been more specific and less misleading though…Sebastian has signed a contract with Swindon Town's Academy….which is where schoolboy footballers throughout England are developed for their clubs and transfer market.

    A club''s football academy is the club's football and academic school…if players do not keep up their grades…they lose their contracts…these players are still very much in school.

    If Seb is successful through the first 18-month contract, he is well on his way to becoming a professional footballer..he has a 5-year learning curve and if he's showing real potential by age 16, you've probably got a professional player on your hand.

    Good luck to him and hope fully there will be more like him.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Barry old buddy you can forget about Argentina winning on Brazilian soil come 2014 but seriously, nuff respect to you  for the great work that you and your wife have done in grooming Sebastian, that's just awesome news  ,a few more youngsters like Seb and Cayman will be a serious force in Concacaf within the next ten years or so, God Bless you and your family.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Barry and family!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Work Hard! Good Luck!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You are a very talented young man, always keep your head up and strive to be the best. The Martinez family must be very proud. Never forget where you come from as you are a role model to othe ryoung Caymanians. Happy to see that Barry passed on his football skills, he was an awesome player and I am certain you will be even better. 
    God Bless!

  10. peter milburn says:

    A wonderful chance for this young man BUT hopefully he will also fulfill his needed school work at the same time.I am sure his parents have thought about that aspect but I wish him much sucess in his venture.It also goes to show other young people what you can get if you work hard enough towards that goal.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find he is living on the Academy grounds where school is part of his daily routine. School is mandatory in the UK until you reach the age of 16.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know him and he is not only gifted in sports, but is also a fantastic student : ) 


      Good luck, Sebastian! You'll do great!

    • Anonymous says:

      Big times for Cayman Football! This has created lots of positive publicity for the Cayman Islands in the UK. Let's all band together and support one of our own. Well done Sebastian.

      For those people that have not seen him play, check out his youtube video :


  11. Good ,decent and fair law abiding citizen says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    Yeaaaaay! Seba….You go boy!  You make daddy and mommie proud and all the family and friends.  Most of all make your dreams come through.  Keep striving for excellence and learn all you can learn.  This is your golden moment.  May God continue to Bless you and your family. 

  13. Mark Whiteside says:

    I have seen video of this young man playing football and fortunately he is quicker than his daddy (although that is not difficult). On the skill level he is in my opinion more skilful (now that is difficult). This is just the beginning, however if you don't enter the system at this age, then the likelihood of becoming a professional footballer is slim.

    The positive exposure for the individual, club and Cayman football scene may lead to further opportunities for our youth.

    Congratulations to all concerned. It is so good to hear a positive headline given all the recent challenges we face in Cayman.

  14. Sigh says:

    While at the same time removing the potential future possibility of playing his beloved sport while pursuing a further education at an NCAA institution. Never mind, best just hope it all works out in the end I suppose.

    • Spirit of '66 says:

      If anyone has aspirations of a carreer in football (the kicking kind) then the NCAA should never be an issue – it is where football careers go to die.  Between 18 and 22 is the most important time for the development of a good youth player into a pro and no-one will want to sign someone who wasted 4 years playing third rate college football.

      • Sigh says:

        So you are advocating an all or nothing approach. Fair enough. I’m going to go ahead and stick with my better to keep options open opinion, particularly for a 13 year old, but who am I to judge? Many a career has died at Scunthorpe United as well.

        • Spirit of 66 says:

          The point is that it is all or nothing – in modern football to make it as a pro requires a commitment by at least 13 to a club's training academy.  In fact 13 is quite late – 9 or 10 is the norm now.  Waiting a few more years will be too late.  The problem is not the academy system but the quasi-fascist rules of the NCAA which simply do not work for football.

          • Sigh says:

            Not suggesting for one minute that I agree with the NCAA restrictions, nor however can I agree with an Englishman's perspective on football matters, 1966 was 45 years ago. That and the ball never crossed the line. Perhaps the problem is indeed the academy system.


            • Anonymous says:

              Get off it Sigh! Why turn such a great moment into your personal stumping ground? England is the best place for a young Caymanian lad with a British passport to be exposed to top football; to suggest the NCAA is like suggesting he should have stayed at home. How many great football players do you know that have come through NCAA? I can't name one but I can name many who have made it through the academy system.  

              • Sigh says:

                Presumably you mean "stomping" ground. Why not  Wales? England? Ireland? I'm merely suggesting keeping options open but since you have it all figured out then there is nothing to worry about.

      • Polly Tricks says:

        At least by moving away from Cayman at this age he has given himself a chance of a first world secondary education.  Cayman is definitely in the third division when it comes to that.

  15. Troy Whittaker says:

    Well done!  Its important to note that Sebastian is a gifted student as well. His major acomplishments at such a young age is a true testament to his parents hard work and dedication.

  16. Anonymous says:


  17. Woody DaCosta says:

    Dreams do come true, albeit some may take a little longer to be realized.


    It would not be unreasonable to say that one of Sebastian’s Dad’s dreams were to experience what his son is now experiencing. Considering his great love of the game and unwavering tenacity to inculcate the same love and passion for Football into his children. Fortunately, Barry is now able to realize his dream through the eyes of an extremely proud parent!


    Consequently,  a very hearty expression of Congratulations I feel is due to Sebastian and that of his parents. This recent wonderful achievement clearly demonstrates that when one is resolute, he/she will find away to be able to live their dream. Good stewardship in one generation may not allow a dream to be realized then. However, that dream typically will manifest itself in the next generation as in this inspiring case.


    I am so extremely happy to learn about this fantastic and uplifting situation for the Martinez Family.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats to everyone involved in this adventure for young Seba! Just goes to show what our youth can acheive, if we all work together.  

      Everyone in the football world in Cayman, would have heard of Seba's father, Barry who was a football star in his own time. If the opportunities available today were available in the '80s, I am sure the father would have signed – but for those of us that know the family personally, I must say that this truly Sebastian's dream.

      Congrats to all. Cayman has had a history making month in sports!


  18. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and keep up the ggod work!

  19. Alice says:

    So proud for mom dad and son. Great job everyone and fine example of a young Caymanian taking advantage of an opportunity. Let gets this on the front page of the Compass. This great is greatnews and can motivate others to do the same.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Congrats young man!! Good luck and make us all proud!!