Guam – E.J. Sablan, Celine Doronila and Samuel San Gil were recently recognized by Guam Football Association National Academy directors and staff as the Jamaican Grill National Academy Players and Coach of the Cycle, respectively, for the program’s second session of 2014.
“E.J. is among the top five players of the U10 Boys Academy,” said second cycle U10 coach Joseph Laanan. “He is one of the most consistent when it comes to performance during Academy training sessions.
During attack, he has good vision on the field and is able to hit different types of passes once his team wins possession of the ball. He has a strong left-footed shot and is able to dribble well. When defending, he is strong and aggressive and is usually able to recover if a player does manage to get past him. He has no fear in 1v1 situations, in both attacking and defending phases of the game.
“He is one of the stronger players physically, as well as mentally. No matter what the situation is, he always works hard in every training session. He has carried this into the Project Elite program,” added Laanan, an AFC “B” License coach.
Sablan currently plays for the ASC Trust Islanders in the Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League and attends St. Paul Christian School.
“Celine constitutes all aspects of what we look for in an Academy athlete,” said San Gil, second-cycle coach of the U12 Girls Academy. “Her character is remarkable for her age. She’s very competitive, but remains respectful on and off the pitch.
“She continues to improve both technically and tactically and possesses an insatiable appetite for knowledge,” added San Gil, who most recently assisted GFA assistant technical director Sang Hoon Kim with the Mini Masakåda, Guam U14 Girls national team earlier this year.
Doronila attends Guam Adventist Academy and currently plays for the Guam Shipyard Wolverines in the youth soccer league.
San Gil, the only coach who has been recognized as the Jamaican Grill National Academy Coach of the Cycle twice, started in 1992. He currently holds an AFC “B” Coaching License and has assisted with Guam’s U14 Girls and U16 Women’s national teams – including the U16 women’s national team that made history by becoming the first Guam national team to qualify for an AFC tournament’s championship round on its own merit in 2012.
“Coach Sam brings passionate intensity to all his training sessions,” said Kimberly Sherman, National Academy assistant director. “He has the ability to bring out the competitiveness of even the most quiet and shy players in the U12 Girls Academy.
“Coach Sam has produced several players in our National Academy program who have been or are now key members of Guam’s U14 Girls national team,” Sherman added.
The GFA National Academy, supported in great part by the Japan Football Association, started in 2012 with over 100 athletes selected by Guam’s licensed coaches, and has grown to include a National Goalkeeping Academy particularly to develop goalkeepers, and a Project Elite program, primarily reserved
for Academy’s top U12 athletes and some from the U10 group, to groom them for future youth national team duty.
“Each cycle’s winners demonstrate the level of development we need to see in our youth national program to succeed,” said Gary White, GFA technical director. “I would like to congratulate this cycle’s winners for their efforts and hope that all other athletes and coaches in the program also look to continue to elevate
their level of performance.”
For each winner, Jamaican Grill awarded certificates of achievement, as well as dining certificates at the restaurant’s Dededo location.