ROSE HEIGHTS, St James — FORMER US National soccer player Desmond Armstrong has promised to scout for young talent in the often volatile Rose Heights community during the upcoming St James Divisional Two football competition. The objective, he said, is to offer them scholarships in US colleges or contracts in US Soccer Leagues.
"I played with and against individuals who are now in positions of influence such as professional coaches, college coaches, general managers both in the United States and outside of the United States. So 'I have the opportunity to say hey, I saw this kid, he is incredibly talented.' I want to send him out to you and give him a try. So that is what we hope to do. It is not something which is a pie in the sky," Armstrong explained during a recent press briefing held at the St James Parish Council building.
He added that he currently scouts for players in the US.
Armstrong, now a devout Christian, who was a part of the United States national team from 1987 to 1994, and who was inducted into the 2012 National Soccor Hall of Fame, is a member of a ministry known as House of Heroes, which uses sports as a means to propagate the gospel, was in the island as guests of the Pastor Knollis King-led Rose Heights Full Gospel Church and Covenant of Peace.
"I continue to use the gift that the Lord has given me... football to unite people. I think football is a global language no matter what culture you come from, no matter what country you come from; it brings people together around ball," Armstrong expressed.
Meanwhile, Pastor King, who is also the councillor (PNP) for the South East Central St James Division, disclosed that a community football league is now being organised in the community.
Outstanding players in the league, he said, will be chosen to become members of a team that will participate in the St James Division Two competition scheduled to begin in March.
The community league is to be funded at a cost of US$3,000 by the Christian Worship Outreach Centre, another US-based Christian mission.
"Five years ago we started a corner league at Rose Heights that was very successful. We intend again to sponsor that league to the tune of US$3,000," remarked Apostle Nicky Lewin, a son of Montego Bay, who in the 1970s represented Cornwall College in daCosta Cup football before receiving a football scholarship to attend college in the US.
Lewin and Armstrong form part of a four-member team, which includes US investors Don Pritt and Apostle Shelly-Ann Stephenson, representatives of Community Sports Network (CSN), who toured sites in Rose Heights recently, with the intention of erecting a mini-stadium in the community.
Pastor King, who has undertaken a raft of social programmes in the area was upbeat over the prospects of the construction of a mini-stadium.
"We have visited three different sites with the hope to choose one. The team plans to return to the US to speak with other investors with the hope to start construction as soon as possible," King noted.