Wed | Aug 23, 2017

St James High keeper turns heads at Cayman tourney

Published:Friday | May 27, 2016 | 5:00 AMPaul Clarke
St James High goalkeeper Amal Bell in action for the Academy SC Club of Cayman.

Western Bureau:

If Amal Bell continues along the path he is currently on, he could one day become Jamaica's top goalkeeper, at least that is the view of scouts at the recently held Cayman Island Youth Football Tournament.

The 14-year-old St James High School youth player turned out for the Academy SC Club of Cayman, standing in between the posts for their injured regular goaltender and by all accounts looked a quality prospect.

"His performances must be viewed in context because while he did let in a soft goal in his first match, it is instrumental to know that he had little time to prepare for the game as he was a late call-up for the tournament," said youth coach Tony Davis.

Bell was watched by scouts from several English clubs, including from the acclaimed Manchester City Youth Academy and Swindon Town FC, two of the participating clubs. The Cuban Under-15 team and Jamaica's Cavalier FC also took part.

Bell was the starting goalkeeper in all of his team's three matches and by all accounts acquitted himself well.

According to Davis, Bell could one day be in line to represent Jamaica, joining the country's long list of brilliant goalkeepers such as Warren Barrett, Clive 'Spider' Wedderburn, Aaron Lawrence, Andre Blake, and Donovan Ricketts.

 

CALMING INFLUENCE

 

"He definitely could one day be in goal at the national youth and senior levels, certainly if he progresses as we suspect he will," said Davis.

"What we saw of him in Cayman - his athleticism, skill and composure in goal - was phenomenal! He was a calming influence for Academy SC. And remember, he was really headhunted to replace their injured goalie," added Davis.

Indications are that he is in line to be issued another invite for a youth tournament scheduled for next month in the Cayman Islands. This Under-14 invitational tournament will include English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and local clubs Cavalier SC and Harbour View FC.