SWINDON Town academy director Jeremy Newton reflected on a productive week in the Caribbean after his Robins youngsters won C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament Trophy.
A group of players aged 14 to 16 travelled to Grand Cayman to take part in a triangular tournament against a Cayman Select Team and Houston Dynamo, with all 17 of the touring party getting gametime in the two matches.
Swindon won their opening clash against Cayman 4-0, with goals from Ryan Wood, Tyreke Johnson, Jordan Morris and Sam Fletcher, before drawing 2-2 with Houston in their second outing - as Scott Twine and Johnson netted.
Their four-point haul was enough to win the competition but it was the lessons learnt away from the pitch that were most important to Newton.
“The players learnt to manage their time effectively,” he said. “They do have some free time and these players have experienced enough now - this group of players have been to Cayman previously, they’ve been to Korea, they go to Holland every year so they are aware of how privileged they are.
“They do manage their time effectively, though. They hydrate, they eat the right stuff and that’s part of their education. As they get old and do more tours you don’t have to monitor them. That’s one of the biggest things that comes from it - they learn to manage their time.
“They learn to sleep at the right times, they make sure when they have some down time that they’re stretching or doing aerobic activity in the pool.
“They all got gametime and that’s pleasing. From a tour aspect, it’s been a fantastic experience for them to play in foreign climates and we got a trophy out of it too.”
So pleased was Newton by the trip that he has already started planning his return to Cayman.
“I only flew back in this morning but I’ve already started looking at taking the under 18s back out there for pre-season,” he said.
“We will look at trying to achieve that and I think it will be possible with the private sector being so big out there - sponsorship is available.”