The first leg of the 2009 ‘Digicel Kick Start Clinics’ concluded today at the Waterhouse Mini Stadium, Drewsland Kingston Jamaica. All the players expressed delight at being a part of the sessions which has added to their reservoir of skills and experience.
Five of the 23 under-16 players who participated in the Digicel Kick Start Clinics share their thoughts and views.
Paul Wilson plays for local club side, Portmore United
“It was a great experience for me to be part of this program organized by Digicel in association with the Jamaica Football Federation. This is something I have been dreaming of for a long time and the knowledge I have gained will help me in the future.
“Some of the drills I was exposed to were different from what I do at my club and it was exciting. I have not yet played for any national team but I am more confident now that that time is not far away. I want to thank Digicel for putting together this clinic and I hope it continues to do this. Mr. John Barnes is a very good coach and I would like him to be my coach. He is also a fair coach. He also told me that girls and alcohol are my enemies.”
Omar Holness plays for Real Mona F.C
“This for me was a fantastic experience; it afforded me the opportunity of meeting new players from my age group and doing things together that I never did before. It was fun. The exposure will help me to be a better player as it helped me compare myself with other players from Jamaica which I think has a lot of talented junior players.
“I was elated when I was told that I will be a part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics; the drills for me were different especially ‘King of the Ring’ where we were all placed in a small area with our own balls, and had to keep ours while trying to knock away the other players’ own.
“Digicel doing something like this is very helpful for the development of youth players and I would like to see them continue. Coach John Barnes is a smart person who knows what he is about and he is always attentive to the players. The experience I have gained I will seek to share with my fellow club mates.”
Damien Lowe of Harbour View F.C is the son of Onandi Lowe of the Reggae Boyz
“Being a part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics was great. It will help me to be more focused as a player. It also taught me more about developing team spirit and I definitely learnt more about the game. It’s not just about playing the game, you have to be disciplined, work hard and have determination, which are the keys to success.
“When I got the news that I was selected to be a part of the program, I was excited to have the opportunity to be coached by the great legend, John Barnes, who will be a role model for the rest of my life. I am also aiming to emulate my father in playing for the national team. Some of the drills that I was exposed to were new and I placed second in the ‘King of the Ring’.
“Digicel is doing an enormous job in doing this, giving youths the opportunity to be coached by John Barnes. I want them to keep it up. Coach Barnes also did an excellent job with us over the two days and I want to say thanks to him.”
Marvin Wright is a member of the St. George’s F.C
“Being a part of the group selected for these Digicel Kick Start Clinics means much to me. It was the first time I was at Water House Mini Stadium. I have learnt a lot which will help me to be a better player. When I was told that I was going to be a part of the program by my coach, I was elated on the inside but did not show it outwardly until I told my big sister. The drills were different generally and more technical since I am accustomed to using less cones and players at my club.
“Digicel I must say is doing a fantastic job, trying to reach the people through football which is good. They are helping the community and the country by doing so much.
Coach Barnes was very good to us and he is a former player of my favorite team, Liverpool so that makes me like him more. He is a good coach.”
Kenniel Kirlew plays for Academy
“It was a privilege for me to be part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinic for another year since I was also part of it last year. I was excited when I was given the news that I was selected to be part of it again and will now be aiming to make the national junior team.
“The knowledge and experience gained will definitely help me in my development as a player and I would like to say that Digicel is doing great for us as youth players on and off the field. Coach John Barnes is also great and very good. He has helped us a lot and I have learnt a lot.”
Jamie Dean, senior sponsorship manager for Digicel Group, commented; “It’s been a great start to the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. The talent of the young players we’ve seen here, coupled with their focus and determination, is really inspiring – and I think it’s really hit home to them that the opportunity to go to Sunderland AFC and train there could be truly life changing. We’re delighted with what we have seen here in Jamaica and excited about the next leg in Barbados.”
After a fantastic start in Jamaica, the Digicel Kick Start Clinics now move on across the Caribbean to Barbados.