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UK Academy on lookout for talent at Kappa Classic

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Corey Hill, left and Ashley Foley (Photograph supplied)

An eagle-eyed Ashley Foyle will be on the lookout for potential talent at the Kappa Classic, which kicks off at Flora Duffy Stadium on Friday.

The Brooke House College Football Academy manager has travelled to the island in the hope of taking more Bermudians to England and assisting them in pursuit of their ambitions on the football pitch.

“As an international college that has an outstanding football academy for both boys and girls, we are always looking to find the best talent from all over the world and try to support them to develop their skill set and reach their full potential,” the former Chesterfield player told The Royal Gazette.

“We offer a fantastic blend of training hard every day whilst ensuring young people push hard for a strong education and qualifications that will allow them many choices in the future.

“We would love to increase the number of talented Bermudian players that choose our school to help them pursue their goals.”

Introduced in 2008 and located in Market Harborough, the Academy now has over 200 players aged 11 to 19 from all ethnic backgrounds.

To date, over 60 players have progressed to a professional football career after leaving Brooke House College with some representing their national teams at youth and senior levels and where better to recruit than the Kappa Classic, which has evolved to become the largest youth sporting event on island featuring more than 1,000 boys and girls aged from seven to 14.

“At the college we have a large number of Bermudian students who have all spoken highly of the event,” Foyle added.

“We have been fortunate that a number have gone on to be really successful, none more so than Deniche Hill, who attended the school for a number of years before signing for ex-Premier League champions Leicester City.

Kappa Classic (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

“Deniche’s dad, Corey Hill [former Dandy Town and Bermuda forward], now provides advice and mentoring to the players that come over to the college from Bermuda, so we are well equipped to provide the best support possible for those that decide to make the move.

“I will be the eyes on the ground as will Corey, who is well connected on the island. We will be on the lookout to spot the most talented players during the competition that show not only sporting potential but the right character and personality that would fit the culture of our college.

“We may be able to provide financial assistance for outstanding players who represent their country at age-group level or who present with high levels of academic achievement and sporting potential. We provide a programme for both boys and girls from the age of 11 to 19 years old.

“Our director, Giles Williams, has been fantastic in supporting us to attend this event and is hopeful that some talented players would be interested in aiming to fulfil their potential with us.”

Foyle, who also played for Accrington Stanley, is looking forward to attending the competition.

“I am hoping that the event will not only be a brilliant spectacle to take in and observe, but will hopefully allow me to see first hand the talent and potential of the players on the island.

“It will be great to meet as many people as possible and promote the opportunity that we can provide those players that are wanting a taste of what English academy football has to offer, including training at least five times a week with games against English academies, touring teams, private academies and schools.

“We will be doing a presentation to learn more about Brooke House College as well as a Q&A on Sunday for all under-13 and under-15 boys and girls and their families.

“This presentation will take place at Vasco Da Gama at 6.30pm and it would be fantastic to see as many people there as possible.”

Foyle, who was also a coach at Chesterfield, is thrilled to be making his first visit to the island.

“From what I have seen it is such a beautiful place with a fantastic culture,” he said.

“If the personality and warmth of the Bermudian contingent that are at our college are anything to go by, I know I will be in for a treat both on and off the pitch.

“Hopefully we will be able to create relationships and connections with coaches and clubs to make this a long lasting collaboration.”

Nigel Burgess, chairman of this year’s Kappa Classic has expressed his excitement at allowing young players the chance to shine

“This is the first year where we will be having boys and girls complementing all age groups,” said Burgess, who plays Premier Division football for Hamilton Parish and is a graduate of Howard University.

“As an organisation, we are dedicated to promoting achievement through sport by providing an outlet for young people to showcase not only their sports skills but also their leadership and teamwork.”

In addition girls will be allowed to play among boys in an age group one year lower then their actual age, creating for some mixed teams comprising both males and females.

“We’re definitely embracing equality and looking to grow the tournament in line with the way the sport is expanding and growing locally and around the world,” added Burgess. “We are looking to put on an amazing fun filled event for the entire family over the course of the weekend.”

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Published April 19, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated April 19, 2024 at 6:03 pm)

UK Academy on lookout for talent at Kappa Classic

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