As the Digicel Kick Start Clinics continue across the Caribbean and Central America, the top talent from the Haiti and Suriname legs have been chosen by England and Liverpool football legend and Kick Start Head Coach, John Barnes, securing their place on the week-long Digicel Academy programme.
The Haiti boys, Reginald Demorin, Jonel Desiré, Williams Barthelemy and Jean-Jacques Jephté Edysson will join the Suriname picks, Sorencio Juliaans, Donnegy Fer and Anfernee Kleberg – as well as their counterparts from the United States and Panama in Barbados this October, where they will undergo a week-long training programme under coaches from Chelsea FC.
Haitian 15 year-old, Reginald Demorin, said; “I am so very happy to be chosen to take part in such a great experience, I feel the door is now open for me in terms of my footballing career and I am so excited.”
Speaking on the talent he has seen so far, John Barnes, said; “In Haiti, I consistently see the highest level of talent in this age group across the region and I could easily have chosen many more than the allocated number. So, in making my final picks, I also rely heavily on the local coaches who can tell me about the boys’ attitude and character – as these are qualities I cannot judge in just two days.”
“The thing about Haiti is that it has an excellent under 17s team so in theory it should naturally follow that it would have a good National team – but that’s not happening. I believe that this is because of the environment, as when they get older, these boys need to get a job and support their families – and so their football suffers, which is a great shame.”
“In Suriname, again we see a lot of talent and what’s nice about this year is that about half of the boys are the same as last year’s pool of talent, which shows that there is consistency and that the boys are improving. And with them being one year older, this really stands to them.”
In what has been a fantastic weekend for Caribbean athletes in the Olympics, John also spoke to www.digicelftooball.com about his fellow Jamaican in the men’s 100m final saying; “It was an incredible result for Usain Bolt. His win shows what an athlete he is, especially when you consider the problems he has been having. When 100% fit, he is unbeatable and at the moment I don’t think he is 100% fit – so it just goes to show what a true competitor he is.”