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Youths back from Italy

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Chairman of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Youth Football Academy, Ian Sardine, has described the recent two-week stint to Italy, as ” highly successful.”

Sardine, along with two young footballers, 10-year-old Azhino Solomon, and 11-year-old Harvey Derrick, and Marketing Manager of the Academy, Salvatore Porqueddu, journeyed to the European country as guests of Cagliari F.C.{{more}}

Solomon and Derrick were engaged in the Youth Programme of the Series A’ Club.

According to Sardine, the two youngsters interacted well with their peers.

Singling out Solomon, Sardine said, “he held his own well.”

Solomon, who favours his left foot, was able to show his worth, scoring three goals representing Cagliari in an Under-14 competition.

Comparing the levels, Sardine said that his players matched the Italians in terms of skill, but struggled tactically, and physically.

He referred to the difficulty the duo faced adjusting to the four-day per week training.

Both Solomon and Derrick concurred that their sojourn was an enjoyable one.

Derrick, who was successful at this year’s Common Entrance Examination, said he interacted well with his newfound friends.

Hoping to build on the Italy experience, Derrick expressed his admiration for Brazilian striker Ronaldo.

Solomon, from a sporting background, with his father Andre Solomon, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines midfielder, and uncles Anthony Sam and Kendall Velox, who also have represented SVG, has Barcelona and Brazil playmaker, Ronaldihno as his international football hero.

Both aspiring professional footballers had the opportunity to meet former Chelsea player, Zola.

Zola is attached to Cagliari’s Youth Programme.

Sardine said that the trip opened up contacts for the Academy and that a reciprocal visit is expected.

A buoyant Sardine expects greater things for the seven-month old Academy. He cited the new contact to add to the already established one of former technical heads of this country’s football, Aide Shaw and Cess Podd.

With the Italian dream coming true, the membership of the local academy catering for young footballers between five and 16 years, is expected to swell in the upcoming months.

At present there are close to 300 participants enrolled in the Academy.

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