Rural trio latest Digicel Kick Start selectees
Duhaney Williams, Ricardo Dennis and Shane Sterling were the three players selected from Jamaica as the Digicel Kick Start Clinics came to a close, bringing the total number of boys chosen from across the region for a place at the Digicel Academy to 30.
Williams, 14, a midfielder from Denbigh High school; another midfielder in 15-year-old Dennis of Glenmuir High and 15-year-old forward Sterling of Green Island High will leave Jamaica on the October 27 for the final academy in Barbados.
The boys will join their peers from across eight other countries in the Caribbean, Central America and the USA where they will take part in a week-long training camp under the watchful eyes of the coaches from English Premier League club Chelsea FC.
Digicel's sponsorship manager Tahnida Nunes said ever since her company arrived in Jamaica 11 years ago, they have remained committed to the development of football at all levels in Jamaica and across the region and this includes providing young aspiring footballers with the platform to develop a better appreciation and respect for the game.
"The Digicel Kick Start Clinics have continued to do this and we are thankful for partnerships with John Barnes and the Chelsea Football Club to help us deliver on this commitment," said Nunes.
"I've had the pleasure of speaking with Ricardo Dennis, Shane Sterling and Duhaney Williams and I could feel their passion, so we're confident that they will learn a lot from John and the Chelsea coaching staff at the Academy in Barbados," she added.
Head coach of the Digicel Clinic, Jamaican-born Englishman John Barnes, said it has been hectic but he is satisfied that the best of the region's talent have been selected.
"It has been great as I feel we have 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," said Barnes.
"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 and Chelsea's partnership with Digicel is testament to that," he continued.
The three Jamaicans selected are from rural schools, two in Clarendon and Hanover. Williams is from Denbigh and Dennis from Glenmuir in Clarendon with Sterling's Green Island High in Hanover.
Incidentally, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite player of Williams and Dennis, while Sterling has Brazil's Neymar as his favourite player. All three players want to become professionals.