Academy youngsters unbeaten in Florida friendlies

Academy Sports Club’s U15 and the PSG Florida Academy.

Academy Sports Club’s U15 and U17 boys football teams benefitted from a pair of friendlies last weekend (11-12 November) against clubs from the Miami area, going undefeated against PSG Florida Academy and Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club.

“The purpose of the trip was to give the boys some international experience, in particular that we have had a slow start to the youth leagues this year,” explained Academy’s U15 and U17 coach, Paul Byles.

He said the club researched which opponents would provide a quality performance to give the local youngsters a challenge on the pitch. In all, 35 players joined Byles and fellow coach, Adam Clark on the trip.

On Saturday, 11 November, the trip opened with a closely fought match between the U15s and their counterparts from Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club in Miami. The deadlock in the match was broken by a brilliant goal by Daniel Rivers in the second half with less than 10 minutes to go, as Academy held on for a 1-nil win.

The U17s also faced Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club at the Deerwood Bonita Lakes Park in Miami. In a see-saw battle, Pinecrest took the lead twice with Academy making a strong comeback to win 3-2.

Academy Sports Club’s U17 team and Pinecrest Premier Soccer Club.

The following day, the teams played against PSG. Kameron Bennett scored a second half goal as Academy’s U15s came back to draw the game 1-1. The U17s also played against PSG’s U17/18 side. Despite going down a goal, Academy fought to come back and win 3-1.

“I thought they did very well. Both games were tight, they were challenging enough that it was a useful experience,” Byles told

“In fact, the U17 team was behind several times during the weekend but they did what they had to do to come back and they won both games. U15s were particularly impressive just because of the way they played. They’re younger and you saw them rise to the challenge, especially in the second game against PSG Academy,” Byles added, noting he “saw some good things that we can build on.”

The coach added that he’s already thinking about another similar trip to continue providing exposure for his club’s young players, especially with limited U15 and U17 match opportunities locally. Both age divisions saw only three teams playing in the CIFA leagues last season – in the U17’s Academy fielded two sides along with one from Cayman Athletic.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.