Joshua Grant and three of his Lauderhill Lions teammates Guy Medeus, Ayden McFarlane and Khalil Hines received personalized invitations from Inter Miami CF co-owner and soccer icon David Beckham. As reported by the Sun Sentinel, the three young players are part of the inaugural class of players selected to the Club’s Development Academy roster, which includes the U-12 through U-19 age groups.
“When I found out I was selected I was jumping up and down, but I had to remain humble at the same time,” Grant said. “I’m excited because I think this can bring me to bigger places. I was a little scared because I didn’t want to leave my friends, but I had to make the right choice. My teammates and coaches were happy for me, but they didn’t want to lose me. I just want to play to the best of my ability in practice and in games.”
Grant, 12, is a Lauderhill resident and a student at Ben Gamla Preparatory Charter School. He has been with the Lions for six years.
Paul McDonough, sporting director of Inter Miami CF, said the goal is to identify, recruit, train and develop top players in the South Florida of all ages and backgrounds.
“It was really important for us when we got into this process to really focus on the youth players in South Florida,” McDonough said. “We’ve been going out and scouting since last August and have visited many locations. We knew there would be some very good players out there that weren’t playing on clubs due to the restriction on finances and we looked at different groups in South Florida.”
The Club has been vocal about its goal of giving every talented soccer player an opportunity to be a part of the Academy, regardless of economic status.
Team rosters will be announced this summer and the U.S. Development Academy’s 2019-20 season will start in September against other travel clubs in the Southeast region.