Spanish opportunity beckons for young footballer

Barry Dre Tibbetts plays with Future Sports Club.

Teenage footballer Barry Dre Tibbetts is getting the opportunity of a lifetime this week, as he trains with the U17 academy at top-tier professional Spanish club, Atletico Madrid.

Tibbetts was selected to make the trip during a visit to the Cayman Islands in August by Atletico Madrid coaches, who led a children’s camp and conducted training sessions with Future Sports Club, for whom the youngster now plays with in the local youth leagues.

Roy ‘Huta’ Ebanks, who runs Future’s football programmes, said the young player caught the eye of the visiting coaches while assisting at the two-week camp and then during training during the evenings.

“His working relationship with them [during the camp] and them seeing his skills during training in the evening, they said they would give him an opportunity to go to Atletico Madrid,” Ebanks explained.

For the 16-year-old central midfielder, this represents an opportunity like no other to take his game to the next level. “It means a lot to me because that’s one of the biggest teams in the world and also one of my favourites,” he told ahead of his trip.

“I’m looking to put in the work and see if I could get into their programme,” he said, adding that to secure a spot would be “a dream come true”.

While in Madrid, in addition to training with the academy, the West Bay youth hopes to feature in a few practice games.

Meantime, Ebanks said regardless of the outcome, the young rising star should embrace everything about the opportunity.

“Firstly, the exposure that he will get from being in such a high level of a professional football environment, and the experience that he will gather from this will serve him better, even if he does not achieve his goal of getting into their academy,” the coach said.

“I don’t think any words can explain the valuable experience that this will get him as one of the most talented ballers of his generation coming out of the Cayman Islands. It would also serve as an inspiration to the other young ballers that you never know when your opportunity can come,” he added.

Tibbetts previously impressed coaches from English club Swindon Town, who invited him for a two-week trial at their academy back in 2015.

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.