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CIFA partners with AC Syracuse Pulse

Sports 11 Nov, 2021 Follow News

Samir Belhseine of AC Syracuse, left, and Alfredo Whittaker of Cayman Islands Football Association

A formal partnership has been formed between US football club AC Syracuse Pulse and the Cayman Islands Football Association, which will result in shared education, coaching and training, and international travel for tournaments, CIFA said.

The agreement was signed during a live media event in Syracuse, N.Y on 27 October by Alfredo Whittaker, President of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Samir Belhseine, President of AC Syracuse Pulse, who called Whittaker “a champion for youth and professional soccer.” Whittaker was a professional soccer player in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Cayman Islands, including the national teams of Costa Rica and Cayman Islands.

The alignment with the Cayman Islands will take soccer to a new level, according to Mr Belhseine, providing an exchange of ideas and team play — with the Cayman professional players and youth teams coming to the states and AC Syracuse’s professional and youth teams traveling to the Cayman Islands.

Mr Whittaker said: “We are building a bridge from America to the Cayman Islands. The golden gate has been opened for countless opportunities to expand the benefits of soccer, which go far beyond the game, as our players learn sportsmanship, teamwork, and strength, and build character.”

AC Syracuse Pulse encompasses a professional men’s team, and women’s semi-pro team, and a youth academy and international partnerships. Playing and training will begin in spring 2022. The club’s other international partnerships include soccer organisations in Barcelona, Spain (RieraSport) and in Morocco (Regional Football League of Laayoune Sakia El Hamra).

Mr Belhseine said: “These partnerships foster learning and development and allow for increased international expansion and recognition. He and Mr Whittaker will be traveling to Morocco this month to explore additional relationships for the Caymans Island Football Foundation. The AC Syracuse Pulse leadership team will visit the Cayman Islands in January.

The new head coach for the AC Syracuse men’s professional team, and director of coaching for the youth academy, is Portuguese native Cláudio Garcia, who has coached winning teams in India, Portugal, and the Cayman Islands. He was an international football player and then a celebrated coach in India, Portugal, and the Cayman Islands. As head coach of the Cayman Islands Boys National Team (U20, U17, and U15), Garcia led the U20 Men's team to the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers in Puerto Rico, placing third.

Coach Garcia said he was excited to export the knowledge of the game that he had acquired, to bring to Syracuse his international experience as a player and a coach.

AC Syracuse Pulse Youth Academy, offering programmes in 2022 for boys and girls ages 6 to 16. He will be selecting and training coaches for the academy’s youth through camps and clinics, helping coaches to develop their skills and their training sessions.

AC Syracuse Pulse is a member of the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), a new US league formed in 2017 that has 16 teams across the country and is a pro-league member of US Soccer and a member of the US Soccer Federation. For more information about AC Syracuse, please visit ACSyracuse.com or contact us at info@acsyracuse.com. Join AC Syracuse’s social media communities @ACSyracuse on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.


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