Digicel kicked off the first leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics 2011 at a press conference featuring Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

During the press conference, John Barnes revealed plans for the three day coaching clinic in which over 150 aspiring young Haitian footballers will be coached in the beautiful game. Following the three day Clinic, Barnes will then select the top four players who will win a place in the Digicel Academy, a week-long elite training camp under the leadership of top Barclays Premier League coaches from the Sunderland Academy, assisted by John Barnes taking place in Trinidad.

Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, John Barnes, said; “I am really excited to be back for another year as Head Coach of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics – the Road to the Academy. The DKSC are a fantastic grass roots initiative which over the past years have seen some fantastic talent come through – and in the long term, these types of initiatives will go towards producing home grown players who are good enough to cut it at the top level.

From left to right: Haiti Football Federation National Technical Director, Carlo Marcelin, Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes, Haiti Football Federation President, Yves Jean Bart and Digicel Haiti Sponsorship Manager, Jean Ronald Eliacin, at the press conference held in Port-au-Prince.

In addition, I am particularly excited about this year’s introduction of the Digicel Academy which will host the “crème de la crème” of Haiti’s talent – along with other young footballers from around the region – where they will receive expert coaching in the sport they love,” continued Barnes.

The players selected to go through to the elite Digicel Academy will spend a week developing their skills and technical ability as well as learning valuable life skills such as personal discipline and commitment – all through positive reinforcement, fostering an appreciation of soccer’s intrinsic values.

In addition to the Clinics selection process, a wild card will be chosen from each market for the ‘best striker’, giving even more aspiring young footballers the chance to fulfill their dreams.

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.

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 Trinidad and culminating in a week long training session at the Digicel Academy (also in Trinidad) from Tuesday November 1st to Monday November 7th.

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