The third Digicel Kick Start Clinics in the Caribbean and Central America drew to a close in Honduras this afternoon when John Barnes unveiled the eight young footballers who will travel to Sunderland AFC in August to spend one week training at Sunderland’s Academy of Light.
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. These took place in four countries in the Caribbean and Central America during the month of July and August.
Commenting on his selection, John Barnes said: “This has been another fantastic year for the Digicel Kick Start Clinics and I’ve seen some great potential in this year’s crop of footballers. It was a tough decision to choose just eight from the 150 players which took part in the Digicel Kick Start Clinics to train at Sunderland. That said, I believe the footballers I have selected have the right amount of talent, desire and determination to have a good career in football if they continue to apply themselves. I would like to wish them the best of luck and I really hope that I come across them again in the not too distant future playing for a leading football club.”
Vice President of FIFA and President of CONCACAF and the CFU, Jack Warner, said; “The feedback I’ve received from John Barnes and the coaches in the Clinics this year has been fantastic. The Digicel Kick Start Clinics are a great initiative and a wonderful opportunity for aspiring young footballers to showcase their talent.”
Lesley Callaghan, Sunderland AFC Marketing and Commercial Director, said; “We are delighted that the Digicel Kick Start Clinics have been such a success and we are looking forward to welcoming the talented youngsters to Sunderland later this month. To train at a Premier League football club is an amazing opportunity for the boys and one we are sure they will embrace.
“Our long-standing partnership with Digicel is going from strength to strength and long may that continue.”
Digicel Head of Sponsorship, Karl Donnelly, said; “Digicel is delighted with the success of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics 2010. Over 150 young footballers took part in this year’s Clinics with Head Coach John Barnes demonstrating a remarkable ability to pass on his invaluable expertise, which delighted the young footballers. We are particularly pleased with the wide reach of this year’s programme, which included regional tryouts that saw over 1,000 boys competing for a place in the Clinics.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John for his dedication and hard work over the last month. I’d also like to thank President Warner who is a great supporter of Digicel’s efforts in developing football across the Caribbean and Central America and Sunderland AFC for once again partnering with us on this initiative. I would also like to wish the boys all the best in Sunderland and hope that they make the most of this opportunity.”