Brandyn Murray trains with elite in Germany

| 06/08/2014

(CNS): Over the summer, twenty-year old college sophomore Brandyn Murray had the unique opportunity to train with a number of professional and semi-professional football teams in Germany and England. The trip was made possible with the financial support from Grasspiece Promotions and a number of local companies and individuals. Brandyn’s preparations included several early morning training sessions at the Annex Field and numerous beach sessions with former Cayman internationals Lee Ramoon and Colin “Dougie” Rowe. In June, Brandyn spent one week with FC Augsburg’s Under 23 team in Augsburg and four days with SV Pullach in Munich.

FC Augsburg play in Bundesliga 1 and their Under 23 team participate in the German fourth division (Regionalliga Bayern). SV Pullach compete in the Bayern League South, Circle Class (equivalent to Division 5).

At FC Augsburg, under the tutelage of Under 23 head coach Dieter Märkle and assistant coach Oliver Beer, Brandyn enjoyed five days of high-intensity training at the FC Augsburg Youth Facility.

As the squad was already in their second week of pre-season training, the sessions were very technical and physically demanding and Brandyn took a few days to adapt to the speed of German football. By the second day, young Murray had adjusted his game and adapted quite comfortably in meshing with the rest of the squad.

He was exposed to a number of technical drills involving quick passing, ball control, positional play, possession and movements without the ball mixed in with weight training, calisthenics and yoga.

At SV Pullach, under head trainer Frank Schmöller, Brandyn trained for four days with the semi-pro outfit before heading over to England on July 3.The training in Germany was arranged through Joseph Albersinger, a former resident of the Cayman Islands, who returned to Germany 12 years ago to complete his UEFA coaching licences. Once a member of the historic Strikers Football Club in the Cayman Islands, Albersinger has coached a number of youth teams in the German professional leagues and was most recently a youth coach at FC Ingolstadt, a Bundesliga 2 club.

In England, Brandyn was based in Swindon and travelled to Macclesfield Town FC in Macclesfield, just south of Manchester. Macclesfield Town play in the Conference Premier, one tier down from League Two and is managed by John Askey.

Brandyn spent two weeks with the Silkmen along with several other triallists and quickly learned that at this level, unlike Germany, it is very physical. The training experience in England was arranged through Fitzroy Simpson, who is responsible for the placement of the three Caymanian youngsters at Swindon Town FC’s Youth Academy and one Caymanian youngster at Reading FC’s Youth Academy. Simpson has been instrumental in developing the relationship between the Swindon Town FC Youth Academy and the football
fraternity in the Cayman Islands through Grasspiece Promotions. 

Commenting on his European experience, Brandyn said, “It was an awesome experience, especially in Germany where I felt more comfortable with the style of football FC Augsburg and SV Pullach play. I am small in stature and prefer the technical aspect of football where I can use my passing and speed rather than my physical attributes. The reviews and comments I received from the coaches in Germany were positive so I hope to return to Germany next summer to secure a few try-outs. We’ll see what happens.”

He added, “Special thanks to the individuals and companies who helped finance my trip and to those persons who supported my efforts. Thanks to Mr. Albersinger and Mr. Simpson who were instrumental in securing these valuable training opportunities for me and who made my stay in Germany and England enjoyable and comfortable. Thanks also to Coach Lee (Ramoon) and Coach Dougie (Colin Rowe) for their efforts in preparing me for my trip.”

As Brandyn alluded to, plans are already underway for him to return to Germany next summer for try-outs following the completion of his sophomore year at college.

Photo: Brandyn Murray (left) with FC Augsburg Under 23 head coach Dieter Markle.

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