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Vincy trio’s football skills earn them spot at Digicel Chelsea Academy

Vincy trio’s football skills earn them spot at Digicel Chelsea Academy

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Three local under-17 footballers, Deno John, Jowan Sayers and Kyle Edwards have shown that they have what it takes to be international professional footballers.{{more}}

As a result of the trio’s skills on the football field, they earned themselves one week’s placing at the Digicel Chelsea Academy in Barbados.

The three young footballers were chosen during the first ever local Digicel Chelsea Kick Start Clinic, which took place on Friday, April 26, at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex.

John, Sayers and Edwards were among 30 youngsters vying for the top three available spots and a wild card position.

During the one-day session, the youngsters, who showed speed, agility, awareness and a positive attitude during the training session, were chosen to travel to Barbados for further training from October 21 to 26 this year.

The three youngsters will join 27 other players from throughout the Caribbean from countries such as Suriname, Trinidad, Haiti and Jamaica.

The Digicel Kick Start Clinics officially got underway on Monday April 8 in Trinidad and Tobago, where a coaching team made up of Chelsea’s International Development Officers Kane Cowburn, Andy Ottley and David Monk, who is head of delegation, began their search for the region’s top football talent.

Monk said that the Vincentian youngsters now have the chance to be part of a “Caribbean All Star team” that will be chosen after the week’s training in October and that team will play against the Barbados Under-17 team in a friendly encounter.

“We are handpicking a Caribbean All Star Football Team and for St Vincent and the Grenadines to be involved, that’s amazing”, Monk said.

“As a pioneering football club, we believe in creating sustainable development programmes across the region and this is evident with our continued support of the footballing structure in Barbados, which we now consider to be our hub in the region”, the Englishman added.

The Digicel kickstart programme has been around in the Caribbean for the last six years, but has only now come to SVG.

The wild card pick is Jadeja Ollivierre of Bequia.

Ollivierre’s name will be placed in a raffle later this year, along with nine other Caribbean youngsters.

The raffle will be drawn by a Chelsea FC player and the two youngsters whose names are pulled from the raffle will also journey to Barbados in October.

Dino John is from Layou, Jowan Sayers from Fairhall and Kyle Edwards from Barrouallie.

Monk stressed that they were impressed with the ability of their

choices, “so we feel justified…they are good technical players, athletes and if they continue, it is much easier to turn an athlete into a footballer than a footballer into an athlete”.

John, who was the first pick, is 16 years old and attends the Barrouallie Secondary School. He plays for the club Pyola in the central midfield position and said on Friday “I feel good and I am excited”.

Second pick Sayers is a fourth form St Vincent Grammar School (SVGS) student. He is 15 years old and a central midfield or left wing player and plays for System 3’s First Division Team.

“I feel good because I did not expect to get pick”, he said.

Edwards is from Barrouallie and is also a student at the Barrouallie Secondary School.

He is a 16-year-old centre forward and plays for System 3.

“I feel real good…I am excited and I have high hopes”.

The wild card Ollivierre is 15 years old and plays central midfield. He is a student at the Bequia Community High School and has been playing soccer for four years with Ghetto Boys. He also plays for the school team.

“I feel good but I did not expect to get pick because I didn’t perform my best”, said Ollivierre.

Meanwhile, Digicel’s country manager to SVG, Sean Latty, explained that they partnered with Chelsea to get these youngsters from across the country to further their skills.

“A lot of you watch the professionals and when these coaches are done with you, you will achieve great things”, said Latty, who asked the youngsters to be disciplined when competing against their peers.

“Have discipline, the respect you show will make a difference. You are an ambassador now, so play hard and train hard and focus on your game, because you have a chance to represent your country on different levels”, the Jamaican stressed.

Minister of Sports Cecil McKie, who was also present, said that he was delighted to have the Chelsea visit and he also commended Digicel for undertaking the initiative.

“I hope that you understand and recognize the opportunity that is being provided for you. Take it and give it your 100 per cent”, said McKie who added that SVG has always been a “powerhouse” in soccer and have beaten the best teams in the region without much preparation and facilities.

“That is a reflection of the natural talent we have here, so I hope that the coaches see that natural talent and work with us. Digicel has indicated that they will continue and I hope that they continue to do the clinic”, McKie said.

The clinics are also being held in other countries, including Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, Panama and Antigua.(AA)

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