Mutual support: Left, Shanna Charlette, Lewis, Jude Monaie and Rena Baccarie at the Quarantine Centre in Berjaya
11th September 2020
By Lewis Betsy I returned to my beloved Seychelles last month, but my homecoming was not what I really wanted. I couldn’t visit anywhere, or meet my friends straight away. Instead, I had to... more...
Lewis Betsy: We must work together to rebuild Seychelles
14th August 2020
 By Lewis Betsy Seychelles needs a big change and this October is the time to make it happen.For the first time, we have the Presidential elections running alongside the National Assembly el... more...
Disaster on the horizon: The MV Wakashio aground on a coral reef
11th August 2020
Mauritius is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” after a cargo ship ran aground on a coral reef and 1,000 tonnes of oil poured into the sea.The Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which w... more...
Ecstatic: The Real Maldives squad celebrate their promotion
30th July 2020
Talk about leaving it late… Real Maldives won promotion in a hard-fought match with just one minute to spare at Stad Linite. The Anse-Etoile based club saw Josip Ravinia score their only goal t... more...
Patrick Pillay: “Corruption should be tackled”
9th July 2020
President Faure has spoken eloquently of the “fragility” of Seychelles and it being “one nation under God”. But he has sparked opposing reactions by saying that as the country ... more...
Alain St Ange: “Tourism died with Covid-19 and so did the economy”
22nd May 2020
 The Coronavirus pandemic has altered the world in so many differing ways, and Seychelles Life asked tourism expert Alain St Ange how Seychelles and the Indian Ocean region are coping. It comes a... more...
President Faure: ‘We will all have to make sacrifices'
3rd April 2020
By Lewis Betsy With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, we watch in disbelief as so many people die to an enemy no one can see.Each illness, each death, from this virus is a tragedy but ... more...
Popular figure: Rene “Chor” Laporte
24th March 2020
By Lewis BetsyA large crowd turned out to pay their respects to Rene Laporte – a great hero fighter for democracy in Seychelles and a talented footballer.Rene, who was perhaps better known as &l... more...

Double triumph for Kevin Betsy's young stars as they shine again in International Cup

5th November 2015

Double triumph for Kevin Betsy's young stars as they shine again in International Cup
Double triumph for Kevin Betsy's young stars as they shine again in International Cup

Patience is everything when you are aiming for the big time, says coach Kevin Betsy who saw his young team at Fulham take the Premier League's Under-16 International Cup for the second time.

The teenage stars triumphed in a competition which featured teams from Arsenal, Benfica, PSV, Manchester City and Chelsea. In the final, the Championship League team won 3-0 against Reading.

Seychelles-born Kevin, who has played for the national team and enjoyed an action-packed career in English football, was delighted.

“It's an amazing achievement for the boys,” he said, as in the tournament they had scored 14 goals and only conceded two.

“To retain the title when you go to a prestigious international finals, where a lot of top teams are competing, is a phenomenal achievement. Quite a few of our boys played and won it last year, and they were well complemented by the new lads who came in. They all did tremendously well to retain the title and show the level of our players within the Academy.”

Kevin, who coaches the team with Colin Omogbehin, was impressed by the youngsters' determination. He said: “Tournaments like this are important in terms of their own self-reflection and their own confidence and football journey, when they're assessing their ability against some of Europe's best players of the same age.

“When they're up against the bigger clubs they can sometimes end up playing against the badge, instead of just playing against boys of their own age.

“That's a challenge. But we've managed to get over that psychological problem.”

Kevin is however, keen to play down the “winning” aspect of his squad, instead focusing on his team's progress as individuals.

“The players are the most important people within our club,” he said. “Everything we do is about the players.”

A former Fulham player himself, Kevin oversaw the development from an early age of Patrick Roberts who has now signed for League leaders Manchester City.

Indeed, the biggest challenge the Fulham coaches face is trying to retain their players. Kevin said: “Sometimes players look at it short-term and think, 'I'm going to a great club that's got a great name, they've got fantastic facilities, and Fulham are in the Championship and I want to be in the Premier League'.

“But being at a big club doesn't necessarily mean that, when you're moving at 12 or 13.

“When you've had your grounding, your development, and you've managed to play some games, when you hit 18, 19, 20, then you can go to a top club.

“But some players, and parents, see it as a here and now, and don't look at the bigger picture, which is unfortunate.”

Challenges: Kevin Betsy who has played for the Seychelles national team
Challenges: Kevin Betsy who has played for the Seychelles national team

Kevin has experienced the difficulties of the academy system first hand. As a player at 16 he was deemed “too small” and had to make his way at non-league Woking, before being signed as a 19-year-old by Kevin Keegan at Fulham for around £150,000. He stayed for three and half years.

“I was very small at 15, 16, and was overlooked by a lot of clubs.” he said. “My body grew when I was about 17, 18, and I had the technical ability by the time the physical side began to kick in. So I was lucky that Fulham gave me the opportunity.”

Now, he is looking to return the favour, helping Fulham spot the players that might otherwise go undetected.

“You're not always going to see the finished article, today,” he explains. “But you've got to have the eye to see what's there later on, and to be patient with those kids.

“Patrick Roberts, came in at under 13, when myself and a coach called Dan Thomas were taking the age group, and he did OK in his trial.

“He had one or two 'wow moments', but he had other deficiencies, areas he needed to improve.

“But we didn't see that. We thought, you know what, let's give this kid a chance, he's got something that other players haven't got. He's very small in his frame, but he could do really well.”

Roberts was brought into the academy, and five years later earned the club £8million when he moved to City.

Patience, Kevin stresses, will be rewarded.

Latest News

What I learned during my 14 days of quarantine in Seychelles
11th September 2020
Mutual support: Left, Shanna Charlette, Lewis, Jude Monaie and Rena Baccarie at the Quarantine Centre in Berjaya
By Lewis Betsy I returned to my beloved Seychelles last month, but my homecoming was not what… more...
Our October elections will give us the chance to change history in Seychelles. We must seize that opportunity
14th August 2020
Lewis Betsy: We must work together to rebuild Seychelles
 By Lewis Betsy Seychelles needs a big change and this October is the time to make it… more...
Oil spill threatens major disaster for Mauritius
11th August 2020
Disaster on the horizon: The MV Wakashio aground on a coral reef
Mauritius is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” after a cargo ship ran aground on… more...
I had to keep my cool, says coach Don Anacoura after Real Maldive’s nail-biting promotion battle
30th July 2020
Ecstatic: The Real Maldives squad celebrate their promotion
Talk about leaving it late… Real Maldives won promotion in a hard-fought match with just… more...
Covid-19, cohabitation and corruption… opposition leaders outline how they will ‘save Seychelles’ if they win the Presidential election
9th July 2020
Patrick Pillay: “Corruption should be tackled”
President Faure has spoken eloquently of the “fragility” of Seychelles and it being… more...
Our people are suffering, says St Ange. Seychelles needs to do everything possible to revitalise the tourism industry when the Coronavirus crisis is over
22nd May 2020
Alain St Ange: “Tourism died with Covid-19 and so did the economy”
 The Coronavirus pandemic has altered the world in so many differing ways, and Seychelles Life… more...
As we face the Covid-19 crisis, now is the time for Seychelles to stand united
3rd April 2020
President Faure: ‘We will all have to make sacrifices'
By Lewis Betsy With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, we watch in disbelief as so… more...
Tributes paid to Rene ‘Chor’ Laporte, a dedicated supporter of democracy and a great footballer
24th March 2020
Popular figure: Rene “Chor” Laporte
By Lewis BetsyA large crowd turned out to pay their respects to Rene Laporte – a great hero… more...
September's News
News Archive