Stenson, Kenney, Cramer receive National Academy honors

Stenson, Kenney, Cramer receive National Academy honors

Alexander Stenson, Samantha Kenney, and Tyson Cramer were recently recognized by United Airlines 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 third session of 2014.

“Alexander is a rare player, one who has the potential to perform both as a goalkeeper and as a field player,” said Joe Laanan, National Academy coach. “He always brings a good attitude to training, along with his work ethic and his thirst for improving his goalkeeping techniques. His understanding of the tactical side of the game has helped him excel in goalkeeper training.

“With continued guidance, he has the potential to become one of Guam’s future national team goalkeepers,” added Laanan, a former Guam national team goalkeeper.

Stenson, a student at St. John’s School, is the first player from the National Goalkeeping Academy to be selected as the Player of the Cycle. Stenson plays for the Paintco Strykers in the Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League.

“As a self-motivated player who constantly works hard to improve her skills, Samantha is a good role model for all the young girls in her age group,” said Ashley Besagar, a National Academy coach. “Failure is never an option for herself or for her team. She helps others with skill mastery and team tactics on the field, while also meeting coaches’ requirements at every Academy training session.

“Based on her skill mastery, Samantha is moving up to train with the Academy’s U12 Girls division athletes in Cycle 4. Her strengths are 1v1 feints and her dribbling technique, as evidenced by her first-place finish in the U10 Girls division in this past summer’s GFA Youth Skills Challenge,” added Besagar, an AFC “B” License coach.

Kenney, a student at Harvest Christian Academy, players for the Orange Crushers FC in the youth league and has been in the National Academy program for three years.

“Though new this year to the Academy, Coach Tyson continues to display great enthusiasm in ensuring players in the U8 Girls division succeed in skill mastery,” said Kimberly Sherman, National Academy Asst. Director, who also coaches the athletes in the U8 Girls division. “He demonstrates good discipline in all his sessions, and overall has great people skills, which is important for communicating with players and other coaches during training sessions, and also with players’ parents about their child’s athletic development.”

Cramer also is a coach with the Wings FC in the youth league.

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.

Winners of the Guam Football Association National Academy Jamaican Grill Players and Coach of the Third Cycle of 2014 recently posed for a group photo with their certificates during an awards presentation at the Jamaican Grill restaurant in Dededo. From left to right are Kimberly Sherman, National Academy Asst. Director, Samantha Kenney, Girls Player of the Cycle, Tyson Cramer, Coach of the Cycle, Alexander Stenson, Boys Player of the Cycle, the Jamaican Grill Jerk Man, Cesca Tamannalon, Jamaican Grill manager, and Dominic Gadia, National Academy Director.