Mt Pleasant FA, Charlton Athletic forge partnership to boost football talent
ST ANN, Jamaica – Jamaican club champions Mt Pleasant FA and English League One club Charlton Athletic, based in London, have signed a partnership “with the long-term aim of further improving the quantity of elite players graduating from the Addicks’ esteemed academy,” according to a post on the English club’s website on Wednesday.
A release from Mt Pleasant confirmed the agreement, stating, “The ‘Mountain to Valley Partnership will provide a clear pathway to playing professional football in London for talented, young Caribbean footballers while allowing Mount Pleasant to benefit from the knowledge, experience, and expertise of Charlton’s academy.”
As part of the various commitments underpinning the partnership, Charlton’s young players will take part in an annual youth tournament at Mount Pleasant’s campus, while the Addicks will host Mount Pleasant’s senior side in an annual pre-season charity match at The Valley, the Mt Pleasant FA release also mentioned.
Charlton Athletic is the club of Reggae Boyz players Michael Hector and Karoy Anderson, and their academy is ranked eighth in England as of 2022, according to their website.
According to the release from Mt Pleasant FA, ‘Non-Executive Director Paul Elliott, a Charlton academy graduate who himself has Jamaican roots, said: “This long-term, strategic partnership will allow Charlton to dramatically increase the talent pool our brilliant academy is able to draw from. A lot of Charlton’s most successful homegrown players of the last 50 years have been of Jamaican origin – including many in the current team – so there is also a really good cultural fit.”
Peter Gould, the owner of Mt Pleasant FA, was quoted as saying, “This Memorandum of Understanding is a symbol of the solid partnership and mutual commitment to the development of football talent in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. This will help move regional football forward as young athletes will get an opportunity to hone their skills and develop their talents outside of the region.”
– Paul A Reid