Following on from the successful opening leg of this year’s Digicel Kick Start Clinics in Haiti earlier this week, Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, has arrived in Panama in search of the top aspiring young footballers there.

After 6 preliminary rounds nationwide, 29 children from Panama City, Chiriquí, Veraguas and Colón will showcase their skills for John Barnes; Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, with Digicel Panama Director of Marketing, Mara Samaniego, and Director of the National Sports Institute of Panama, Ruben Cardenas

After six preliminary rounds – in which more than 300 applicants tried out – 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.

Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, John Barnes, said; “I am very excited to be back in Panama for this year’s Digicel Kick Start Clinics – and especially with this year’s introduction of the Digicel Academy.

The Clinics are a fantastic initiative which every year has produced great talent from all across Panama. These programmes are very important as they go towards the long term development and evolution of local players and the sport at large.”

Digicel Panama Director of Marketing, Mara Samaniego, said; “Digicel’s commitment to football goes beyond our sponsorship of the Panamanian Soccer League and the Digicel Kick Start Clinics are an example of this. This is our third consecutive year as host country of the Clinics and we have seen the participation grow tremendously year on year.

In addition, we are particularly excited about sending four lucky players to the new Digicel Academy – this year giving more players the chance to learn from top class coaches from Sunderland AFC.”

The Panama Digicel Kick Start Clinics kicked off today and continue tomorrow and Sunday September 25th when John Barnes will select the best four players for a place in the Digicel Academy.

In addition to the clinics, Barnes will be sharing his experience and knowledge with the under 11’s and under 13’s teams from BAGOSO FC club, an initiative of Panamanian soccer player, Felipe Baloy, that seeks to promote sports for young people who are from areas of social risk and unrest.

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.

Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, stands among the 29 aspiring young footballers who were selected to take part in this year’s Clinics in Panama

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 from Tuesday November 1st to Monday November 7th.


CountryJohn Barnes Clinic Dates
HaitiSunday 18th – Thursday 22nd September
PanamaFriday 23rd – Monday 26th September
New YorkTuesday 27th – Friday 30th September
St. Kitts & NevisSaturday 1st – Tuesday 4th October
GrenadaWednesday 5th – Saturday 8th October
SurinameSunday 9th – Wednesday 12th October
JamaicaThursday 13th – Sunday 16th October
TrinidadThe Digicel Academy – Tuesday 1st – Monday 7th November

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