Young footballers hope Vegas losses stay in Vegas

| 25/02/2013

pfl lasvegas 160213 02 (1) (230x300).jpg(PFL): The PFL Youth Football Programme’s Under 13 team recently returned to the Island following their participation in the 2013 Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup International Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada, which took place 16-19 February. Although returning from the tournament with a less than glamourous record – one win and three losses-the valuable experience gained will contribute greatly to the players’ development as they begin to fulfil the short and long-term goals organisers and coaches of the Programme have set for these talented youngsters. With an average age of only 12, the team participated in the Under 14 division playing teams from Utah, Nevada and Canada.

Although the players were disappointed with the results, the young men played admirably gaining the respect of many of their opponents, coaches, spectators and tournament officials.

The Mayor’s Cup International Showcase is one of two annual football (soccer) tournaments co-hosted by the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club and the City of Las Vegas, the other being the International Tournament, which is played in October. Each year, the tournament welcomes international teams from Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Poland, France, Australia, Dominican Republic, Denmark and Africa.

Travelling with the Cayman contingent were coaches Ernie “Gillie” Seymour, Antwan Seymour and Gonzalo McLaughlin along with team manager Norman Joseph and a number of parents.

Playing in very unfamiliar cool conditions, top scorer for the Cayman team was Cayman Athletic forward D’Andre Rowe with many of his teammates making notable contributions including Kameron Mendez, Albertini Holness, Joshua O’Garro, Xavier Comment, Ricardo Wright, Kailan Miller, Kareem Foster, Rico Bodden, Jondane Dawkins and Nicholas Chung.

The PFL Youth Football Programme Under 13s have only been together since March 2011, training once per week and playing in as many friendly games and competitions with local teams in preparation for tournaments such as the Mayor’s Cup. This tournament marked the first time some of these players have travelled overseas and competed. As a team, it is the first time they have travelled and competed together and only the second time they have competed against overseas opposition.

With the many positives arising from this trip and the excellent commitment and performance from the players, the future looks very promising for this team.
PFL Youth Football Programme coach Ernie “Gillie” Seymour said, “The Mayor’s Cup was a great opportunity for our youngsters to experience what it’s like playing in unfamiliar weather conditions, a long way from home with very few “home” supporters in the stands.

Many of these youngsters want to follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Martinez and Kray Foster who now ply their trade with Swindon Town FCs Youth Academy in the United Kingdom. To achieve this, they need to be able to play in adverse weather conditions against bigger, stronger opposition, which is exactly what they experienced in Las Vegas. It was great learning experience.”

Coordinator of the PFL Youth Football Programme Neil Murray added, “The players, parents and coaches did a wonderful job in raising funds for this trip and we thank everyone who supported the fundraising raffle, car washes and fish fries. The PFL Youth Football Programme thanks all the companies who gave generously in supporting this trip and the Programme. It was a great experience for our youngsters and we hope to attend other overseas tournaments in the coming years as we continue to build on this Programme.”

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