The first leg of the Digicel Kickstart Clinic, delivered in partnership with Manchester City FC, recently came to a thrilling end, leaving the programme’s lead coach and project manager for City football schools, Alan Dixon, impressed with the talent present in the Caribbean region.
“The will and desire displayed by the boys across the seven countries we have visited so far must be commended –– they were all focused and it showed in their performances. The programme puts them through a variety of game situations to test them mentally and physically –– and every group we have worked with has really impressed us,” said Dixon.
Barbados Football Association Youth Committee Chairman, Renaldo Gilkes, believes this partnership between Digicel and Manchester City FC is changing the lives of children in the region. He said: “Digicel is doing tremendous work in the Caribbean and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Aspiring footballers are being exposed to first-class training sessions delivered by one of the biggest clubs in Europe. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all the kids involved and I am happy that Barbados is a part of it.”
Digicel Barbados CEO, Conor Looney, visited the training session and was very excited about the level of training that the boys were undergoing. Looney said: “I am truly impressed with what the Kickstart programme is doing in Barbados. I’m also very proud to know that out of the 30 boys in the programme, 25 of them are a part of our national programme. I want to say a special thank you to the parents, the boys that participated and importantly, to Manchester City for their support.”
At the end of the two-day clinic, the top three players that were selected to represent Barbados in May at the Academy are Avery Chandler, Dishon Howell and Sheran Hoyte.
The second leg of the Digicel Kickstart Clinic programme will resume this Sunday in St Kitts and Nevis, followed by the Dominica, Grenada, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and then ending in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Digicel Kickstart Clinic programme is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thousands of aspiring young footballers. Through the programme, participants not only learn football skills and technical abilities, but also develop an ethos of professionalism and a good attitude –– key attributes of successful people across all walks of life.