International veteran football coach to hold CI clinics

| 09/01/2013

billirwin01 (300x298).jpg(WBSF): The West Bay Sports Foundation, in collaboration with the Academy Sports Club, is pleased to announce that they will be hosting Bill Irwin, Director of Soccer from the University of Portland from January 16 to 20. Coach Irwin is in his tenth year as the Director of Soccer at the university. Irwin, a certified “A” licenced coach, was promoted to his current position in 2003 after serving 16 years as an assistant. He and the rest of the coaching staff are responsible for the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the University of Portland as a combined staff.

Coach Irwin has a distinguished record as a goalkeeping specialist and has extensive experience with both the U.S. National Men’s and Women’s programmes, assisting with the Under 20, Under 21, Under 23 and senior women’s teams, and the Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and senior men’s teams. He trained the US goalkeepers in the 1998 World Cup in France, the 2000 Olympic team in Australia and the youth teams in various World Youth Championships.

His football background includes 17 years in goal in the pro ranks in England in the 1970s and in the United States in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in the 1980s.

The University of Portland is a NCAA Division 1 institution located in Portland, Oregon with a complement of 3,900 students and 320 faculty members. The University has been ranked 18 years consecutively in the top ten for western regional universities in the United States by “U.S. News & World Report”.

The West Bay Sports Foundation has arranged a number of events with Coach Irwin including training sessions with the PFL Youth Programme at 5:00 p.m. at the Annex Field in George Town and with the women’s teams at 7:00 p.m. at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay on Thursday, January 17; an Under 18 game between a George Town select team versus a West Bay Select team at 5:30 p.m. at the Ed Bush on Friday, January 18; and two goalkeeper’s clinics on Saturday, January 19.

The goalkeeper’s clinic will be hosted by the Academy Sports Club at the Academy Field on Saturday, January 19. Coach Irwin will lead goalkeepers through a two-hour session aimed at strengthening skills, increasing game awareness and building confidence. A clinic for goalkeepers aged 10 through 16 will take place between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. followed by a clinic for keepers aged 17 through 23 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The two clinics are sponsored by Zolfo Cooper.

Technical Director for the Academy Sports Club Virgil Seymour said, “The Academy Sports Club has always placed a heavy emphasis on the link between football and academics so we are very pleased to support the WBSF in this venture for our local football community. There is a serious lack of proper goalkeeper coaching in the Cayman Islands so I encourage goalkeepers of all ages, boys and girls, to take advantage of this excellent opportunity. Special thanks to Zolfo Cooper for sponsoring the clinics.”

Co-founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation Arden Rivers said, “The Foundation is very excited to be welcoming Coach Irwin to Grand Cayman. His involvement in football over the years has been extensive and his expertise in coaching and directing the coaching in men’s and women’s football will be extremely beneficial for our youngsters. We hope to establish a long and meaningful relationship with Coach Irwin as we strive to create academic andathletic opportunities for those players interested in continuing their education at the college level in the United States.”

Since its inception in 2009, the West Bay Sports Foundation has been instrumental in creating opportunities for the Island’s young athletes to excel academically and athletically locally and overseas. The Foundation has also hosted various youth football tournaments and events involving local and overseas teams including the visit of Swindon Town Football Club’s Under 13 team from the English professional team’s prestigious Youth Academy and CD Vida’s Under 15 team from Honduras.

The Foundation’s annual West Bay Community Cup Youth Football Tournament has become a well-supported event showcasing the best young talent in the Under 11, 14 and 17 age groups.

For further information on Coach Irwin’s visit and schedule of events, please contact Arden Rivers at 927-7011or Neil Murray at 925-8793. To sign-up for the goalkeeper’s clinics, please e-mail academysportsclub@hotmail.com.

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