ALL-STAR DIGICEL YOUTH TEAM CHOSEN – Region’s top 30 footballers through to the Digicel/Chelsea FC Academy

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics have finally come to an end with the Chelsea FC Foundation coaches making their final stop in Antigua where www.digicelfootball.com sat down with Chelsea FC Foundation Senior International Football Development Officer, David Monk, to get his feedback on what he and his fellow coaches have experienced on their first Kick Start Clinics tour.

The Digicel Kick Start programme selects the region’s top young footballers to attend the Digicel/Chelsea FC Academy in Barbados

The Digicel Kick Start programme selects the region’s top young footballers to attend the Digicel/Chelsea FC Academy in Barbados

Giving his impressions of his first stint as Kick Start Clinics Head Coach, David talks about how he used the Official Chelsea Youth Development Programme skills test to pick the region’s top 30 players.

“Our methods are tried and tested and are the exact techniques used to select players in the Chelsea FC youth development programme. The process is built on a 360 approach – we assess the players’ fitness, technical ability and agility on the field. The system gives all the players an opportunity to showcase their talent and even at this final Clinic that was held in Antigua, two out of the three players that we selected are members of Antigua’s national team – a fact that we were not aware of prior to their selection. This is a testament to the quality of the process and we believe that from these Clinics, we have selected a truly all-star group of players.”

Winners of the Antigua leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. From left to right: Shavorn Phillip, Jamarlie Stevens and Gevorn Stevens along with the wildcard winner, Andrae Best

Winners of the Antigua leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. From left to right: Shavorn Phillip, Jamarlie Stevens and Gevorn Stevens along with the wildcard winner, Andrae Best

From the welcome reception we received from all of the football associations, the coaches and players, it is clear that football plays a big part in the lives of people living in the Caribbean and Central America. It is also clear to us that the region has players who possess fantastic talent and also have families and friends who support their careers. I remember when we announced the names of the players in Trinidad and Tobago and in Panama in particular, there were lots of tears and joyful celebrations from the relatives who were there and that was very heart-warming for us.”

We feel that Digicel’s Kick Start programme will have far reaching benefits for the region as long as the local football associations continue to help their players to develop their talent. With a good coaching structure, adequate facilities and support from the wider community, football can only get bigger and better.

Action from the final-leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics programme that lasted for six weeks and spanned ten countries across the Caribbean and Central American

Action from the final-leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics programme that lasted for six weeks and spanned ten countries across the Caribbean and Central American

For a lot of these boys, going to the Academy in Barbados means more than just a week-long football training programme – some of these boys have never left their home country and so, with this opportunity, we can see where we are giving them the chance to make their dreams come true.

Players that will attend the Digicel/Chelsea FC Academy are as follows:

  • Antigua and Barbuda – Shavorn Phillip, Jamarlie Stevens and Gevorn Stevens
  • Grenada – Shamari Mark, Christian Hadeed and Reshane Houston
  • Haiti – Vileus Ortega, Dede Kenley and Derisse Wilson
  • Jamaica – Ryan Brown, Cadine Graham and Carru Barrett
  • Panama – Jairo Lombardo, Juan Checa and Juan Mancilla
  • St. Kitts and Nevis – Geovannie Lake, Yohannes Mitchum and Devaughni Nisbett
  • St. Lucia – Anton Paul, Ryi Maryat and Keeroy Lionel
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Deno John, Jowan Sawyers and Kyle Edwards
  • Suriname – Schmelts E. Unrich, Adipi R. Robertino and Bergtop S. Lorenzo
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Kori Cupid, Sebastian Camacho and Travell Edwards

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