An American coach is in Barbados to find young footballers who possess both the physical and mental skills required to be offered scholarships to the Central Connecticut State University.
That was the word last weekend from coach of the NCCA Division 1 Football team in Connecticut, Shawn Greene, and others at a press conference held at Coconut Court Beach Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church to discuss the assessment of footballers from the Barbados Soccer Academy as well as training which began on Saturday and will run until this Thursday.
Also present at the media briefing were chief executive officer of the Barbados Soccer Academy, Jabez “Jack” Bovell, duty manager of Coconut Court, Maurice Hunte, as well as local players from the Barbados Soccer Academy, Jerome Boyce and Gregory Hinds.
Greene stated that this was his first time in Barbados, and made it very clear exactly what he was searching for in a local player.
“I am here to assess the talent of the players and give them an honest opinion of what it takes to be a top NCAA soccer player. Sometimes players may have all the physical athletic ability but not the will to train hard in order to be given the chance to achieve a football scholarship. So that mental tenacity is also needed,” he pointed out.
Greene also noted that it was a difficult job selecting players, as only one per cent of footballers worldwide were given an opportunity for a scholarship to play in a big tournament like the Division 1 Football Championship. However, he said he was looking forward to watching the local players train in the upcoming week and assessing their talent.
Bovell talked about the first time he met Greene, as well as the success of the Barbados Soccer Academy over the last ten years.
“I visited Shawn at the Connecticut University in 2007, and was very impressed with his coaching. I know he has a very good team and I invited him here in Barbados to scout for players.”
He added: “Since the Barbados Soccer Academy started in 2004, the main objective was to focus on scholarships, and we have secured 27 scholarships over the last ten years.”
Bovell also extended thanks to Coconut Court Beach Hotel for assisting the Soccer Academy with accommodation for coaches over the years.
Boyce and Hinds said they were both grateful to Greene for accepting the invitation to come to Barbados, and hope that he would be impressed with the quality of their players.
Approximately 20 to 25 players from the Barbados Soccer League will be exposed to the training next week and these are all players between the ages of 16-21.