(CMR) Sunset Football Club of Grand Cayman U12 team beat several teams from across Florida to lift the first-place trophy in their division at the Florida Rush Soccer’s 2023 Champions Cup last weekend.
Sunset Football Club traveled with four youth teams to Orlando to compete against teams from all over Florida, participating in the U10 Boys and U11, U12, and U13 Girls teams.
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, comprised entirely of volunteer parents, take 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. Organizing 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 their 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 traveling 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 traveling to more age categories as well as competing locally in all CIFA competitions,” he added.
Sunset FC is an amateur football club with a strong youth program. Founded in 1982, Sunset FC runs youth training sessions at Camana Bay Sports Complex nearly 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 of 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,” he stated,
To find out more about Sunset FC youth program or enroll for next season, visit https://www.sunsetfootballclub.com/home