Digicel today officially announced the four aspiring young footballers who have secured a place in the Digicel Academy following the first leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics 2011 in Haiti under Head Coach and England and Liverpool football legend, John Barnes.

Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, John Barnes, looks on as the Hot Shot competition takes place to determine the wild card selection. For more information, visit

The four players – Jean Junot Valentin, Erickson Phédé, Jonathan Monplaisir and Gédéon Daniel – were selected from a group of 30 young Haitian footballers to secure a place in the Digicel Academy in Trinidad from November 1st to 7th.

At the Digicel Academy, they will join the selected footballers from the remaining six countries, where they will spend a week developing their skills and technical ability as well as learning valuable life skills such as personal discipline and commitment – 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; “As usual, the standard in Haiti was very high so it was a difficult decision to make as I could have chosen at least six boys. Therefore, the four boys chosen are at a very high technical and physical level and I look forward to seeing them progress even further in the Digicel Academy.”

Centre forward, Jean Junio Valentin, said; “These three days of the clinic were amazing; I did not think we could learn so much in so little time. I’m thrilled to have been selected and very excited to move ahead in this adventure that promises to be even more exciting.

Digicel Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, John Barnes (centre), with the four Haitian winners through to the Digicel Academy. From left to right, Jean Junot Valentin, Erickson Phédé, Jonathan Monplaisir and Gédéon Daniel

In addition, the first round of the ‘Digicel Kick Start Hot Shot’ competition took place and saw 15 year-old defender, Loussaint Sindy Loukens, score 50 points from 10 shots making him the leader in the regional competition. Following all seven Clinics, the top scorer will win a wild card place in the Digicel Academy.

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 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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