Sunderland AFC (SAFC) on Thursday evening hosted a dinner at Frankie and Benny’s Restaurant for the eight Digicel Kick Start Clinics players who are currently attending the one week training clinic at their Academy.
Attending the dinner were Sunderland AFC International Business Development Director, Chris Woerts, and Premier League striker, Trinidadian Kenwyne Jones – who was the surprise guest. The players were all excited to see Jones and took the opportunity to talk at length with him. Having asked him lots of searching questions, the boys also received sound advice from him on what it takes to become a professional player.
Commenting on the event, Jones said: “I had a good time with these young guys. I was able to share my experiences in coming out here with them – and talk them through the things you have to do in order to get to this level – and what you have to do to stay up there.”
Jones, who started representing Trinidad and Tobago at the national level from the Under-15 level, said that he is hoping that the eight players make the very best of the opportunity they have been given – as well as realizing that they can be positive role models for Caribbean youths. Jones also complimented Digicel and Sunderland AFC for their vision in giving aspiring footballers this once in a lifetime opportunity noting that these types of opportunities were not available when he was starting out.
In his comments, Chris Woerts noted that Jones is an ideal role model not only for the eight players – but for all people across the Caribbean.
“Kenwyne was able to share valuable experiences with the boys. They certainly learned from him what it takes to be a professional player. It sounds easy but the reality is you have to do a lot of work and put in real effort. Eighty percent of a footballer’s success is down to character. If your character is good and you do the right things, you will succeed. If not, you will fail. I would like to commend Digicel on its vision in staging these Clinics and in giving young players the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.”