With the Digicel Kick Start Clinics now in their fifth year, and only four countries left in this year’s programme, England and Liverpool football legend and Kick Start Head Coach, John Barnes, says he’s seeing positive development among the aspiring young footballers and is finding it increasingly harder to choose only three from each country.
Having just completed the Grenada leg of the Clinics, John Barnes chose 15 year-old, Trent Peters, and 16 year-olds, Anjanni Ambrose and Kereem Woodroofe, to go through to the Digicel Academy – where they will undergo a week-long training programme under coaches from Chelsea FC. In addition, what is most encouraging is the fact that the current Grenada under 20s Captain, Shevonn John Brown, was a participant of the Digicel Academy 2011.
Head Coach, John Barnes said; “Back here in Grenada I have seen a lot more talent emerging – but what is really fantastic to see is that the talented young boys from previous years’ Clinics are emerging in their own careers – with Shevonn Brown now current Captain of the Grenada under 20s – and three other boys from last year’s Clinic training in England and playing in the National league here.”
Looking forward, John said; “I feel good with my picks from Grenada again this year. And I’ve spotted one or two excellent young players who I could have chosen this year based on their skills, but decided not to put them forward because at only 13 years-old, they are too young. For me, I wouldn’t take the risk of sending them to the Digicel Academy where they would go up against 15 and 16 year-olds from across the region, bigger guys who are more developed – I would be afraid that could knock their confidence so I have held back from choosing them for another couple of years.”
President of the Grenada Football Association, Chenney Joseph, said; “Digicel’s commitment to Caribbean football provides the greatest opportunity for the region’s development of its fine footballers. The company’s vision has provided opportunities not otherwise readily available to these youngsters.”
Following on from yesterday’s trio of medals for the Jamaican sprinters at the London Olympics, Jamaican-born John also spoke to www.digicelfootball.com about the win, saying; “What a fantastic win for Jamaica. To be honest I expected a one-two for Bolt and Blake – I hadn’t even heard of Weir. But Jamaica is the home of sprinters – this is now another one off the production line.”
The Clinics continue through Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica as John Barnes searches for the region’s top footballing talent. The Digicel Academy will take place in Barbados in October this year.