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Former Manchester United footballer Brian McClair, left, Atlantic CEO Nigel Darlow, second from left, head coach of Manchester United Football Academy (MUFA) Eamon Mulvey, second from right, and MUFA coach Kevin Ward.
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Some 50 young budding footballers could receive a start to their potential professional football career when the Atlantic Football Weekend takes place at Queen’s Royal College (QRC) from 8 am, as part of Atlantic’s development drive.

And at the same time T&T Football Association’s Technical Director Anton Corneal will conduct a Fifa Coaching License Course with the intention of sending coaches into the nation’s primary schools to lay a proper foundation for the many youthful talents.

Atlantic’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nigel Darlow said at a launch at the Hotel Marriott in Port-of-Spain yesterday, that two activities will be focused on this weekend to facilitate his company’s initiative for development, namely Life Skills and a Coaching License course. According to Darlow, “When Atlantic sponsor these programmes, it is really providing a foundation to local football, particularly at the youth level.”

The programme started back in 2010 with the invitation of Earmon Mulvey and Kevin Ward, both from the Manchester United Football Academy. The coaches are here again but will this time be joined by former United striker Brian Mc Clair.

Mc Clair, a winner of three FA Cup and four Premier Division titles in a career 471 games at the club, told the young players they will have the coaching expertise of two great coaches that will assist in their learning. He reminded all that learning is easier at school when you have good teachers.

Mc Clair got into the sport at the age of two years and has since been gainfully employed through it. He told the audience that because he loved the sport so much he has never worked a day in his life.

Darlow also had some words of encouragement for young players, saying all the great footballers internationally had strong foundations.

He singled out Booby Charlton, the ex-England legend who was snapped up by Manchester United at the age of 16 years, while Sir Alex Ferguson, the former United Manager/coach credited the club for the successes he has had.

He believes his company’s investment in the youth will assist in providing a pathway for many. From the camps the children are encouraged to learn about team-work, discipline, fair-play and integrity.

The camp ends on Sunday with a series of exhibition matches that will be followed by an award function for both players and the coaches.

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Ex-United player urges youths to play like Yorke.
T&T Newsday Reports.


Former Manchester United footballer Brian McClair said former national captain and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke is a player youngsters from this country should try to emulate. McClair said Yorke, who hails from Tobago, played the game with the right spirit and attitude.

McClair represented Manchester United between 1987 and 1998 and left the top English Club just before Yorke began his successful four-year stay at Old Trafford. McClair is currently in TT to work with the Manchester United Football Academy at the Atlantic Football weekend, which kicks off today at the Queen’s Royal College Ground in St Clair.

McClair, speaking at the launch of the Academy at the Courtyard Marriot in Port of Spain yesterday, said, “Most football players, the vast majority, a third of the world come from poorer, working class backgrounds. I think it is a great example of someone who not only worked hard, because he (Yorke) must have worked and practised hard since he was a small child; he listened to people around him either at school or other people giving him good information.”

McClair said Yorke always enjoyed playing football and encouraged the aspiring footballers to do the same.

“He played with a massive smile on his face. You could see the joy he exuded when he scored goals, and that took him to the very highest places you could be,which was winning the Champions League with Manchester United (in 1999).”

Speaking about the weekend’s activities, McClair said, “I am looking forward once again to see the standard of kids, what they can do, and how they can express themselves.

One of the greatest things for me that happened last year is how sports can make such a difference and being involved in a fun, learning environment which Kevin (Ward) and Eamon (Mulvey) created last year.”

Mulvey is the head coach of the Manchester United Football Academy, while Ward is also a coach.

The Atlantic Football Weekend starts today with FIFA technical development officer Anton Corneal leading the training and certification for primary school football coaches.

The Atlantic Coaching Excellence (ACE) programme and the Atlantic Football and Life Skills Development Camp will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s activities take place from 8.30 am to 4 pm, while Sunday’s action will be held from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm, followed by a prize giving ceremony. Atlantic Sports Ambassadors Keshorn Walcott and Merissa Aguilleira will be in attendance.

Nigel Darlow, CEO, Atlantic, said the company knows the power of sport and what it can do for children.

Darlow said, “I believe, and I know Atlantic believes, that sport is one of the best ways where we could help thousands of children here in Trinidad and Tobago and get them inspired and embrace the whole idea of fair play and positive values – and that’s what we need a lot more of in our young population.” Mulvey said he has seen the growth of the local programme. “Every time we come it seems to develop a little bit more again, and the same principles are there – loads of fun and loads of development.”