Sunset Football Club, of Grand Cayman, travelled with four youth teams to Orlando last weekend to compete in Florida Rush Soccer’s 2023 Champions Cup against teams from all over Florida. Participating were U10 Boys and U11, U12 and U13 Girls teams, with pride of place for the U12 Girls team that won their division to bring a first place trophy back home to the Cayman Islands.
After three tightly fought games in the first round, the U12s faced ANWSC Wellington in the final. Goals by Abby Proud and Tillie Lomas gave Sunset a 2-0 win and secured them the 2023 Champions Cup.
Tom Elliot, who volunteers his time to coach multiple Sunset FC youth teams and was the head coach for the winning U12 Girls team (assisted by Ian Lomas and Conrad Proud) said, “The U12 girls did themselves proud this weekend. They demonstrated great resilience and determination to come back from the brink of exit, to deservedly beat the top ranked team in the final. The many hours of training and hard work have paid dividends for these young athletes and goes to show that success will come with commitment and dedication.”
This was Sunset FC’s first time competing with multiple age groups which emphasizes how seriously Sunset FC and their management team, comprising entirely of volunteer parents, takes youth and grassroots football. Gareth Thacker, Sunset FC Vice President said, “The Club would not be where it is now without our wonderful group of volunteers and coaches, and we thank them for their continued commitment and support over the years. We have an excellent group of coaches with plenty of coaching experience amongst them. Organising trips takes a lot of planning and time and we thank Tom Elliot and his team for leading the Orlando trip. We also provide our thanks to KPMG for their sponsorship for the tour.”
All four teams had a successful start to the tournament, scoring goals and winning matches on Saturday 20 May. In fact, after Day 1 all four teams were in contention for respective finals. After hard fought contests in the morning of Day 2, unfortunately the U10 Boys and U13 Girls were narrowly eliminated, both finishing an extremely creditable second place in respective groups.
The Under 11 Girls team reached the final of their division but despite battling bravely, were beaten 3-1 by Central Brevard Soccer CBS Cyclones. U11 head coach Chris Turrell (assisted by Chris Lennon and Chris Palmer) felt that it was an incredible experience for their squad and reaching the final was just reward for the efforts the girls had put in all season.
James Kennedy, head coach for the U10 Boys team (assisted by Chris Fenn) said, “The overseas trip for the youth teams has proved a huge success with the players, coaches and travelling parents all having a great time both on and off the pitch and generating huge excitement for the players in advance of the tour. The results this year show the progress being made at all levels of the club and as a true non-for profit that we can provide a fun, inclusive and competitive standard for the kids who join with the help of the many devoted coaches and parents. Given the positive feedback from players and parents we will continue to travel annually and indeed seek to expand the number of teams travelling to more age categories as well as competing locally in all CIFA competitions.”
Sunset FC is an amateur football club with a strong youth programme. Founded in 1982, Sunset FC runs youth training sessions at Camana Bay Sports Complex near daily, with weekend sessions for girls and boys as young as 4.
The girls youth football program, led by coach Gisela Gamba, has grown in recent years with over 150 girls enrolled this season throughout the age groups.
Paul Macey, President of the club added that “He was delighted with the performance of the teams and the way they represented themselves and the club. Our goal is to develop the travel policy of the club so that teams at all age groups can have the same opportunity. The emphasis of the club will always be on development and a big thank you goes out to the dedicated coaches that give their free time to the program. We could not do this without them.”
To find out more about Sunset FC youth programme or enroll for next season, visit https://www.sunsetfootballclub.com/home
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