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The Digicel Kick Start Clinics came to a close recently when England and Liverpool legend and Kick Start head coach, John Barnes, chose the final three boys in Jamaica — bringing the total number of boys chosen for a place at the Digicel Academy to 30.
Commenting on the talent on display, Barnes, said: "It's been a hectic three weeks — tiring at times, but it has been great as I feel we have the best of the best of the region's young talent going to the Digicel Academy in Barbados to train with the Chelsea FC coaches. As always here in Jamaica, the boys were very good and showed great enthusiasm and dedication. Jamaica consistently produces quality talent and I feel there's a lot more to come out of this country in terms of international talent in the years to come.
"When I look back over the three weeks, for me, Trinidad and Tobago really stood out with some very impressive aspiring young footballers. Haiti was also excellent, but overall the quality in the Caribbean is there," said the JAmaican-born Barnes, a former Jamaica national senior head coach.
Speaking on what it's like to be back home in Jamaica, Barnes said "I love coming back to Jamaica".
"It's where I grew up until I was 13 years old. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to partake in my favourite foods, like curried goat, as I am on a health challenge and have to stick to fish and vegetables. I love all traditional Jamaican foods so I am really missing out on this trip," he lamented.
The three Jamaican boys who have secured their place in the Digicel Academy in Barbados are Ricardo Dennis, Shane Sterling and Duhaney Williams. The boys will join their peers from across eight other countries in the Caribbean, Central America and the US in October this year, when they will take part in a week-long training camp under coaches from Chelsea FC.
"I'm very excited as this is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I am really looking forward to going to Barbados and when I am there, I will do my best to show my talents," said Sterling.
Jamaica’s selectees for the Digicel Kick Start Academy (from 2nd right) Ricardo Dennis, Shane Sterling and Duhaney Williams, pose with Kick Start head coach John
Barnes (left) and head coach of the Reggae Boyz Theodore Whitmore (right).
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