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Chelsea put youngsters to the test

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Thirty of Bermuda's top footballers under the age of 16 began participation in the Digicel Kick Start clinic at Goose Gosling Field yesterday under the watchful eye of coaches from Chelsea FC.

Digicel is partnering with BAA again this year to put on the clinic, during which the youngsters train today and tomorrow in hope of being among the three to represent Bermuda at the Digicel Academy in Barbados in October.

During the week-long academy, the top 42 young footballers from across the Caribbean region will then get the chance of a lifetime to receive intensive training under the Chelsea Football Club Foundation.

Yesterday David Monk, Chelsea's senior international development officer, told the young players that the coaches would be looking for three important aspects from each of them.

“We are looking for a player who will always work their hardest, we are looking for a player who can show great technical ability across more than one position, because ultimately you'll be playing in a match or a tournament representing a Caribbean all-star team, and we are looking for a player who can become an ambassador for Bermuda.”

Monk added: “Embarking on the eighth year of the Digicel Kick Start programme we enter a phase of evolution whereby the Chelsea FC philosophy is in full effect. The success of last year's clinics and academy has meant that, just like our football club, we must continue to improve and move forward year upon year.

“Reflecting upon last year's programme, the highlights particularly poignant for me were witnessing the journey of 39 young players from humbling beginnings as footballers and finishing in Barbados as proud ambassadors of both their country and now Chelsea Football Club.”

“The positive use of football as a bridge between cultures and languages was evident at last year's academy. This year's clinics will surely put our expertise to the test and we guarantee to have certainty of our selections and have extended our contact time for the 30 players to two full days of sessions. We will conclude the second day with small-sided games and a presentation to announce the winners.”

Wayne Caines, the chief executive of Digicel, and Wayne Scott, the Sports Minister, were present at yesterday's launch of the clinics, along with John Doran, the president of BAA. “In 2007, Digicel staged the inaugural Kick Start programme as part of its brand development and grassroots strategy,” Caines said.

“Digicel believes that grassroots football is vital to the development of the sport in the Caribbean and Central America. Today's professional players started out at grassroots clubs and were scouted from there. As such, Digicel believes we must develop young players technically at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Scott said: “We believe that young sporting talent should be recognised and nurtured. It is clear that support is necessary to enhance the long-term development of our young talent athletes. Bermuda's young footballers, both boys and girls, will benefit from the involvement of Chelsea. The opportunity to receive instruction from international coaches is a great opportunity for our youth.”

Bermuda youngsters take part in the Digicel Kick Start clinic at Goose Gosling Field (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Digicel Kickstart (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Digicel Kickstart (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Digicel Kickstart (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Digicel Kickstart (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published May 10, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 10, 2014 at 1:37 am)

Chelsea put youngsters to the test

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