THIRTY young Trinidad and Tobago footballers started fine-tuning their football skills when the three-day Digicel Kick Start Clinic kicked off yesterday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
But earlier at the Digicel Box at the Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain, Digicel marketing and strategic partnership manager Wendy Alleyne said the clinic will enhance other qualities off the field.
“Through the clinic these children are not only taught about skill and technical ability but also an ethos of professionalism and a good attitude-- critical attributes of successful young people in all walks of life,” she said.
Chelsea’s Senior International Football Development Officer David Monk, who will be assisted by Chelsea Foundation coaches Andrew Ottley and Kobina Elliott, said that from the 30 contestants (25 from Trinidad and five from Tobago), three young footballers will be selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago at a week-long clinic at the Digicel Academy in Barbados later this year.
Monk said after his initial experience last year when they underestimated the level of the T&T young footballers, the Chelsea coaches are expected to set the benchmark even higher this time around.
“You guys have made it into the elite 30 best players in Trinidad and Tobago and by itself that is a wonderful achievement and you deserve to recognise that,” Monk said. “I have been counting down the days to my return to Trinidad (since last year) and now we have a pretty good understanding of Trinidad’s high footballing ability so we have raised our expectations this year.”
The players will undergo full days of workout session culminating in small side football competitions then the presentation of awards and certificates. Monk also said he is looking forward to the footballers not only becoming better football players but better ambassadors for their club and country.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical committee member Muhammed Issa praised the TTFA and the Tobago Football Association for conducting the process to select the 30 players, adding that this Digicel initiative was in keeping with the TTFA’s vision for improving and spreading the game among the youth in the country.