Freeport, Bahamas - Barbados World Cup player Matthew
completes the roster of top coaching talent which has been recruited
to work with Grand Bahama youngsters at this year’s
Sir Jack Hayward
The 37-year-old international defender
is now a full-time senior pro coach having completed more than 400
league games for Leyton Orient and Cambridge United. He started
his career with famous London club Arsenal and was player of the year
in three out of his four seasons at Orient.
He is now responsible for a team of
coaches developing soccer skills in young people in an area of the UK
- East London and the county of Essex - with a population of almost
two million. That’s more than six times the number of people living
in the Bahamas.
“In our job we get to work with kids
of all ages and different abilities and it really broadens your
We have a massive responsibility - to give children the best guidance
and understanding we can possibly give them,” he said.
“In the game itself we aim to introduce
to kids fundamental skills such as balance and co-ordination while
them comfortable off and on the ball and developing their understanding
of the game generally.
“We want them to really express
and enjoy playing soccer. That will be my mission in Grand Bahama.
The highlight of Matthew’s career
was playing against the USA in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.
Barbados was defeated but the USA went on to the quarter finals in South
Korea and Japan, only to be defeated by the eventual tournament runners
up Germany. Matthew was born in the Bethnal Green area of London
but his parents’ Barbadian background qualified him to become a member
of the famous “Bajan Pride” – the island’s national team.
Prior to turning out for them, though,
he had already won 16 youth caps playing for England.
Matthew, lead coach Jamie Godbold and
fellow newcomer Sarah Green are giving up vacation time to fly in to
Freeport to pass on their skills and soccer knowledge in improving the
game among young people on the island.
“I am genuinely excited by the quality
of the coaches we have coming this year. In our seven years we
have always had top class people but the blend we are able to bring
to Grand Bahama in 2010 has to be the best yet,” said camp organiser
“What makes it particularly excellent
is that they are specialists not just in soccer coaching but in bringing
out the best in young people.
“They will make sure the kids have
a fantastic, fun time as well as exposing them to the latest soccer
ideas. The latter will also be a big bonus for our volunteer local
coaches. We have more than 20 who give up their time for the camp
and the visitors will be passing on their skill and knowledge to them,
The camp takes place from Monday, June
21, to Friday, June 25, at the extended playing fields of Freeport Rugby
Football Club, East Settlers Way. Campers get lunch each day as
well as two full sets of uniform, the top level coaching and the chance
of a cooling lunchtime swim in the club pool.
Registration is $175 and forms can
be found on this website (attached below) or collected from Town & Country, Yellow
Pine Street, and Animale, Port Lucaya. More information about
the camp can be had from firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not
too early to register because it is first come, first served and
numbers are pegged at 180.