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Former Reggae Boy Davis in academy partnership with Liverpool FC

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 28, 2020

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Former Portmore United stalwart Claude Davis, now part owner and technical director of the Liverpool International Academy of Central Florida, says his venture fashions the programmes and activities of the UK-based giants.

The 41-year-old Davis, who captained Portmore United to the Premier League title in 2002 before moving to Preston North End in England in 2003, is extremely happy that his organisation was able to secure a five-year deal with English Premier League champions Liverpool Football Club.

“It's a new club we started here in Orlando where we try to do things the right way. Everything that we do comes from the Liverpool Academy in England. It's a pathway for us to try and do things the right way,” Davis said.

“I have been working here for five years and I try to implement stuff. You know I play all my life in England and I see the ways the academies run. I try to do that here, but unfortunately we do not have the financial backing,” he pointed.

Davis said the Liverpool organisation came back with a positive response to his group following a meeting.

“We had a meeting with Liverpool, like six, seven months ago and we explained to them, lay out the vision and the plans we have, and they came back to us as they loved it and they wanted to be a part of it. So we signed a five-year contract with Liverpool to use the name,” Davis told the Jamaica Observer.

The towering hard-tackling defender, who represented Jamaica 68 times, also played for Sheffield United, Derby County, Crystal Palace, Crawley Town, and Rotherham United in England.

Davis, who heaped praise on the excellent youth system he came through at Portmore United, noted that his academy has already 10 teams, including boys and girls from ages 11-19. There is also a Junior Reds team comprising three-year-olds to 10-year-olds as they model everything from the English counterparts.

“It's not just their name, but their curriculum as well, and they will send coaches over here three times a year to work with my coaches, teach them the right way, help the coaches to deliver the training sessions, the same sessions the academy in Liverpool is working with,” he explained.

“So it's good, really good. It's a great connection and partnership right now. It's the first year. It's a non-profit club and we will wear the Liverpool uniform,” said a doting Davis.

“Ninety per cent of the kids here won't get a chance to go to Anfield, so if we can bring the training sessions here and also Liverpool opened up their doors to us where we can take teams there just to give them that experience,” said Davis.


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