DIGICEL KICK-STARTS YOUNGSTERS’ DREAM AT ACADEMY – Best of the best vie for spots to train in Manchester

Digicel Kickstart Academy 3Monday 20th June 2016 – Kingston, Jamaica: Through the Digicel Kickstart programme, 42 aspiring young footballers from the Caribbean and Central America are in Kingston, Jamaica, to attend the Digicel Kickstart Academy and train with coaches from one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester City FC.

From March 29th to May 14th, Manchester City FC coaches visited14 countries across the region to deliver the Digicel Kickstart Clinics and select the top three players from each country to take part in the Academy. The Academy will now challenge these players to demonstrate what they have learnt and their commitment to improving their game as they vie for an opportunity of a lifetime – a trip to England to train at the City Football Academy, Manchester City’s elite training and youth development facility.

Earlier this year, six of the top players from the previous Academy experienced what it is like to train like a City player when they visited the Club’s training ground in Manchester. They also got a chance to watch Manchester City go head to head with Everton and see City stars, including Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero, in action on the pitch.

Digicel Kickstart Academy 2Lead Coach for the Digicel Kickstart Academy and City Football Schools Project Manager, Alan Dixon, said; “Digicel share Manchester City’s passion for developing footballing talent, which is exactly what the Digicel Kickstart programme is all about. As a result, we are delighted that we can contribute to the overall success of the programme, providing the region’s aspiring young players with opportunities to improve their game. The coaches and I are excited to be supporting the players on their football journey and we look forward to working with them at the 2016 Digicel Kickstart Academy.”

Digicel Director of Marketing, Peter Lloyd, said; “We are delighted to be able to create a platform for these young footballers to not only compete against the best in the Caribbean, but also to learn from the best coaches from one of the biggest clubs in the world. Digicel is very committed to developing our youth and unearthing talent, and thanks to the coaches from Manchester City FC, this programme is doing just that.”

Digicel Kickstart Academy 1The Digicel Kickstart programme provides an avenue for young footballers to improve and hone their footballing skills and talents, while building character – both on and off the pitch. The programme has been a huge success to date and has generated support from football fans across the region and beyond.

To ensure that family and friends can continue to follow the boys’ journey, the Academy will be captured by Sportsmax and shared through 30-minute programmes. Other highlights from the Academy will be shared online, digitally via various social media platforms with 15 and 30 second clips and on mobile via the LOOP News app.


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Digicel Kickstart Academy 4Digicel continues to invest in home grown talent and talent around the Caribbean and the Americas. You can give someone a fish but when you teach them to fish you feed them for life.

The recent failure of Jamaica to score a goal in the ongoing Copa invitational speaks volumes of our skill level. Digicel has invested much in our local football programme and we have little results to show as an acceptable return on this most valuable investment. What a shame! Time to call a spade a spade.

When you are young and gifted, this is the time to dream.

A coach can do so much and no more. Players need to step up to the plate, keep their fitness level high and be tactical. There is no other way. Play the ball not the man … too many fouls. We are too physical …we all know football is a contact sport but to be overly physical is not a good spectacle. With red cards you miss games and have less players on the pitch.

Congrats to all academy awardees … continue to dream … do be players of Vision.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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