Antigua National U-20 recorded a comfortable victory against local side All Saints Secondary by 7 goals to 1: Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics
It was a walk in the park for the Antigua National U-20 team on the third and final day of the Antigua Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics which ended with a brutal match between the National U-20 team and the younger and less experienced All Saints Secondary. Winning 7-1, the Nationals strolled to victory while the All Saints struggled to defend. With the first two goals scored by the Nationals within the first 9 minutes, the All Saints laboured to keep up.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony after the match, Mervyn Richards, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), gave his thoughts on the display shown by the boys: “They did an excellent job and I have no doubt that one or even two of these boys will be chosen to go to Sunderland. But it is important to note that even if no one is chosen, they remember the valuable lessons they have learnt from John Barnes during the Digicel Kick Start Clinics.”
The three-day Digicel Clinics started in Antigua on Sunday January 27 with Head Coach John Barnes training and observing the 22 boys from the National U-20 team. After the match, Barnes gave his thoughts on the Antigua Digicel Clinics: “I am not at all surprised by the talent I saw here in Antigua as I know Caribbean players possess skill. I have seen at least 3 boys who show the dedication, discipline and togetherness that I am looking for and they will definitely be on the shortlist to go to Sunderland. Nevertheless, whatever happens, there is no doubt in my mind that scouts will be coming to the Caribbean to identify talent. So boys, be alert, keep up the good work because you never know who could be watching.”
At the end of the CFU sponsored eight-country Digicel Kick Start Clinic tour Barnes will announce the select six chosen to train at Sunderland AFC’s Academy of Light for one week in March 2008.
Ged McNamee, Sunderland AFC‘s Academy Director describes what the selected six players can expect at the Academy of Light: “The selected players will experience the daily scholarship programme and train alongside Sunderland youth players. The programme will include a physical and coordination programme supervised by Scott Pearce, Academy Sport Scientist and the football coaching programme is very technically ball-based, utilizing various technical practices and small sided games. The week will be demanding, but hopefully enjoyable, giving the selected players an insight into the daily programme of an aspiring young footballer.
“This opportunity will allow the coaches to assess the players both physically and technically against the recruitment criteria, to observe their potential to determine whether the players could progress further. Most of all it is about the young players having a positive experience which they will always remember regardless of the outcome, and we look forward to welcoming them to Sunderland.”
The Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics now make their way to Suriname for the sixth leg ending Sunday February 3.