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Island’s youngsters showing promise at Hammers camp

Some of the Island’s grassroots footballers have shown promise during this week’s West Ham United International Academy (North America) summer skills camp at BFA Field.

As many as 60 boys and girls ranging in ages from six to 16 have attended this year’s camp, which concludes today, and is being independently run by overseas coaches Mike Kelleher and Mark Phillips as part of West Ham’s ongoing partnership with Bermuda Football Association (BFA).

Kelleher is the current partnership development manager of West Ham United International Academy (North America) while Phillips coaches at the club’s world-renowned youth academy in England.

All participants involved in this week’s camp are being taught the fundamentals of the sport.

Any player that shows enormous potential could be invited to travel to the US to train at one of the West Ham’s satellite clubs.

“If they see someone they invite that person to the US and from that they identify people who will go across proper to the UK to be at West Ham’s Academy,” said BFA technical director Devarr Boyles.

“This is an opportunity for our players to gain something on the pitch and certainly new coaches offer different ideas of doing something that always excites players. The variety that these coaches bring helps to move the game along.”

Boyles said the overseas coaches have been encouraged by the skill level and technique demonstrated by some of the participants that attended last year’s inaugural West Ham United International Academy (North America) summer skills camp.

“What the coaches have noticed from the children that have returned is some improvement,” he added.

“They would like to think it’s a result of the stuff they’ve done at their camp before, but obviously it’s also some of the things they have done in-between through the local coaching here in Bermuda. The children have certainly improved because they are playing more.”

Earlier this year promising footballer Rai Simons received a government scholarship to travel to the UK to attend West Ham’s Youth Academy early next month.

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Published August 26, 2011 at 11:09 am (Updated August 26, 2011 at 11:08 am)

Island’s youngsters showing promise at Hammers camp

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