After three days of training as part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics in Panama, Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, has chosen the four aspiring young footballers who will take their place in the Digicel Academy.
Carlos A. Saavedra, Alcides Murillo, Iván Darío Murillo and Jonathan Moreno are the four lucky youngsters whose talents shone through during the Panama round of the Digicel Clinics.
The four boys were chosen after three days of Clinics that followed six preliminary rounds – in which more than 300 applicants tried out. From there, 29 young footballers were carefully chosen to showcase their talents in the hope of being selected for the elite Digicel Academy – a week-long training camp under the leadership of top Barclays Premier League coaches from the Sunderland Academy, assisted by John Barnes.
In addition, after a very tight competition, the winner of the Hot Shot contest was Luis Cañate who as the ‘wildcard’ player, will go up against his counterparts from the other Digicel Kick Start countries for a chance to take one last place in the Digicel Academy.
John Barnes, said; “I’m very happy to return to Panama. The boys gave their best and the best were elected to live this fantastic experience that will develop their love of football and their determination to succeed.”
Director of Pandeportes (the Panamanian Sports Institute), Ruben Cardenas, “At the Sports Institute, we believe these types of grassroots initiatives are essential in order to promote sport and as such we are proud to have partnered with Digicel for the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. It is a tremendous opportunity for these young talented footballers to represent their country abroad and we wish them good luck.”
One of the chosen footballers, Carlos Saavedra, said; “I think I was chosen mainly because of my humility. It was a very difficult competition and there’s so much talent, but with the favour of God I got through. “
The all new Digicel Academy is a week-long elite training camp under the leadership of top Barclays Premier League coaches from the Sunderland Academy, assisted by England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, which will take place in Trinidad from Tuesday November 1st to Monday November 7th.
The Digicel Academy will also host a ‘coach the coaches’ seminar in which coaches from across the region will get expert training from Sunderland AFC’s finest teachers.
The Digicel Kick Start Clinics programme officially kicked off on Sunday 18th September in Haiti before travelling on to Panama, New York, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Suriname, Jamaica and culminating in a week long training session at the Digicel Academy in Trinidad.