Three aspiring Grenadian footballers have impressed former England and Liverpool football legend and Digicel Kick Start Head Coach, John Barnes to win places to attend the Digicel Kick Start Academy in Barbados.
The trio – 15 year-old, Trent Peters, and 16 year-olds, Anjanni Ambrose and Kereem Woodroofe will participate in the Academy scheduled for later this year.
The boys were chosen from a competitive group of 30 who all showcased their talent during a three-day Clinic.
This is the second consecutive year that the Digicel Kick Start Clinics incorporates Grenada.
Last year, the programme was initiated in partnership with Sunderland AFC, but this year the Digicel Kick Start Clinics is being conducted in partnership with the European and FA Cup Champions, Chelsea Football Club.
President of the Grenada Football Association (GFA), Cheney Joseph congratulated Digicel for its initiative in the development of the nation’s youth in the field of football.
He said the clinics speak volume for the GFA, noting that Digicel’s commitment to Caribbean football “provides the greatest opportunity for the region’s development of its fine footballers”.
“The company’s vision has provided opportunities not otherwise readily available to these youngsters,” he added.
Joseph announced that the local FA would be focusing its attention on the development of youth over the next few years.
He acknowledged that Grenada has natural talents that just needs to be harnessed while pointing out that one of the four young footballers selected last year – Shevon Brown is now Captain of the National Under 20 Team and three other boys from last year’s clinic received training in England and are currently playing in the National league here.
Joseph believes that with the natural talents of the young footballers coupled with the training received from the Digicel Kick Start Clinics, Grenada could be a force to be reckoned with.
In his pep talk, Barnes encouraged the young people to learn from the positives of role models such as Kirani James, the 19-year old Grenadian star athlete who took the gold medal in the 400 metres at the just-ended Olympic games in London.
Barnes stressed that no matter how big or small, a person can achieve whatever is the goal.
“Back here in Grenada I have seen a lot more talent emerging – but what is really fantastic to see is that the talented young boys from previous years’ clinics are emerging in their own careers”, he said.
Barnes spoke of feeling good with the persons who were picked from Grenada this year to attend the Barbados clinic.
“And I’ve spotted one or two excellent young players whom I could have chosen this year based on their skills, but decided not to put them forward because at only 13 years-old, they are too young.
“For me, I wouldn’t take the risk of sending them to the Digicel Academy where they would go up against 15 and 16 year-olds from across the region, bigger guys who are more developed.
“I would be afraid that could knock their confidence so I have held back from choosing them for another couple of years.
Digicel kick-start Clinics continue through Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica as Barnes continues the hunt for the region’s top football talent.
The top three most talented footballers from each country will be chosen to travel to the Digicel Academy, which takes place in Barbados in October for a period of one week.