To cap off what has been a fantastic week of training at Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics winners yesterday watched Sunderland AFC beat Manchester City in the Stadium of Light, when Darren Bent’s injury-time penalty condemned Manchester City to their first defeat of the season in the Barclays Premier League.
The aspiring young footballers – who spent one week working with some of the best coaches in the Barclays Premier League at Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light – took their place in the ‘Black Cats’ lounge in the Stadium of Light – an area reserved for members. Yesterday was the second time the boys saw Sunderland AFC’s first team play after they saw the Black Cats beat Colchester 2-0 in the second round of the Carling Cup on August 24th.
Digicel Group Head of Sponsorship, Karl Donnelly, said; “Having the opportunity to watch a live Premier League game with teams of this calibre is something not many people get to do. The boys have had a fantastic experience at Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light, and yesterday’s Premier League clash between Sunderland AFC and Manchester City was a memorable way to end the trip.”
Bryan Landaverde, aged 15 from El Salvador, said; “This was a fantastic display of football from both sides – it was amazing to see all the action live here in the Stadium of Light. Our seats were great too – the atmosphere in the members lounge was thrilling and Sunderland’s goal in the 90th minute couldn’t have ended the match any better.”
Matthew Woo Ling from Trinidad & Tobago; Vidal Gonzalez and Fernando Meneses from Panama; Jose Villavicencio, Bryan Landaverde and Alvaro Lizama from El Salvador; and Julio Oliva and German Mejia from Honduras were the eight most talented footballers selected by John Barnes from the Digicel Kick Start Clinics.
The Digicel Kick Start Clinics are supported by Jack Warner, Vice President of FIFA and President of both CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union.
The Clinics – which kicked off on July 20th in Trinidad & Tobago, before moving on to Panama, El Salvador and Honduras – saw 150 talented young footballers receive expert coaching in the beautiful game.
Digicel has been involved in a wide range of football initiatives designed to support the development of football in the Caribbean and Central America over the last six years. Digicel, which has operations in 32 countries worldwide, sponsors 17 Football Federations and Leagues, as well as the Digicel Caribbean Cup and the Copa de Naciones Digicel in Central America.