Fun flows at 2nd Mini Slam Cup

A youngster goes for the ball during the Mini Slam Cup.

You may be forgiven for thinking its déjà vu but Cayman Prep’s Under-11 footballers have hoisted the winners’ trophy at the Academy Sports Club Mini Slam Cup.

Cayman Prep won the inaugural tournament in December and repeated that feat when the second edition was played on the National Heroes Day public holiday (23 January), beating Future FC in the final.

Meantime, it was an all-Academy affair in the Under-13 competition as Academy Jaguars beat Academy Panthers. Sunset FC won the Under-13 girls cup ahead of Savannah Tigers FC with a thrilling penalty shootout.

Alexia Bromfield of Sunset FC shoots against Academy SC.

The addition of a girls’ division helped boost numbers, rising from 125 players the previous month to 207 this time around. It was a fun-filled day with 520 minutes of football across 32 matches that saw 42 goals being scored at Academy Sports Club’s complex on Outpost Street, George Town.

“The format is exciting – 7v7 – the kids just want to play and I’ve seen coaches switch out entire teams at half time. It’s fast-paced. It ends in 16 minutes basically, so you have to score quickly,” explained Paul Byles, the Academy Sports Club coach who came up with the concept last year.

“The attitude of everyone was nice; it’s nice that the coaches are relaxed and letting them play. The competitive spirit doesn’t destroy the fun spirit that we like to see,” he added.

Adding to the excitement was the presence of former Trinidad and Tobago international, Dwight Yorke, who stopped in as part of a promotion by telecoms firm Flow in partnership with his former club Manchester United, the current holders of the English FA Cup. Yorke presented the winners with their trophies. (Read separate story here)

Alan Purvis, who coached the Cayman Prep team, described it as a great experience for the youngsters. “We had a big squad of 13. Everybody got to play and it’s just a great experience for the boys. They love playing football and it’s a great day – they come out here and play as much football as they can,” he said.

Future FC coach, Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks, was thankful for another opportunity for his club’s players to showcase their skills. “It’s a beautiful experience. If you look around, all the kids are enjoying themselves. You see a lot of talent and participation.”

With few other opportunities for regular competition in these age groups once the primary school season ends, Coach Huta acknowledged the potential of the Academy Sports Club initiative.

“It is something that I can see it grow into something really phenomenal for football in the Cayman Islands. Maybe this is the shot in the arm that Cayman Islands football needs at this time,” he told

Gonzalo McLaughlin, whose club Savannah Tigers FC fielded teams in each division, agreed that the Mini Slam Cup is a welcomed addition to the local sports calendar.

“It really does help to have these tournaments because the teams come out and they play. The more they play, the better they become. The more tournaments that we can have within the youth age groups, it’s really good for the kids to advance,” he said.

“They were really happy to be out here. It’s a great atmosphere. Academy and Flow put on something really nice for the kids and it was a really nice day of football for everybody,” he added.

Many parents were also on hand, cheering loudly and shouting on encouragement to their children and teammates. With events like this, it’s easy to see why football is called “the beautiful game”.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Dwight Yorke gives tips to local youngsters – Cayman Sports Buzz

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