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345FC shines at Rood-Wit International U10 Tournament

Sports 19 Jun, 2024 Follow News

Jake vs PSV

Lawrence vs Club Brugge

Cayman Islands-based 345FC recently competed at the Rood-Wit International Under-10 Soccer Tournament in the Netherlands, dropping only a single tournament match in a field that featured some of the best academy teams in the world.

Cayman finished 17th overall at the tournament, taking four wins, six draws and one loss.

“Competing and earning wins in a tournament of this magnitude - where we face professional club academies - is a significant achievement,” 345FC coach Peter Reijn said. “Coming from a grassroots environment on a relatively small island in which we cannot select from a larger pool of children, we showed again to be very competitive with the European top academies, not just defending but also playing dominant and showing our skills. It was an invaluable experience for our players.”

Cayman opened group stage play with a 2-2 draw with Club Brugge, where the first team are Belgium champions. Other notable group stage matches included a scoreless draw with PSV Eindhoven - whose first team are Dutch champions - as well as 1-1 draws with Scottish power Aberdeen FC and perennial Dutch contender FC Nordsjælland.

Following the group stage, 345FC picked up wins against United States-based EastSide FC, South African side Hola Skoko and FC Utrecht before beating Royal Antwerp FC - where the first team competed in the UEFA Champions League this season - 4-0 to claim 17th place.

“At this age group, this is one of the best tournaments in the world,” Reijn said. “ Individually, we are looking forward to seeing some of these boys developing on and following in the pathways of our players currently playing in the European Academy set up.”

This marked 345 FC’s fourth time at the tournament. In 2019, the team finished 21st before taking eighth in 2022 and fifth place last year.

“Our expectations have risen so much, a 17th-place finish feels like we could have done better, which is a testament to how far we’ve come,” Reijn said.

The 345FC players played a handful of international friendlies prior to the tournament, beating academy teams from historic Eredivisie club Sparta Rotterdam, NAC Breda and Hola Skoko and falling to the academy team from Dutch KNVB Cup winners Feyenoord Rotterdam.

Game results

Group stage

Total Soccer Cayman v Club Brugge 2-2

Total Soccer Cayman v TechnoSelect  1-1

Total Soccer Cayman v PSV 0-0

Total Soccer Cayman -v Aberdeen 1-1

Total Soccer Cayman v Nordsjaelland  1-1

Europa League  bracket

Total Soccer Cayman - EastSide FC 4-1

Total Soccer Cayman - TechnoSelect 0-2

Total Soccer Cayman - VV Dongen 1-1

Total Soccer Cayman - Hola Skoko 4-0

Total Soccer Cayman - FC Utrecht 3-0

17th/24th-place match

Royal Antwerp FC - Total Soccer Cayman 0-4

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