TWO BUDDING Trinidad and Tobago football stars –Judah Garcia and Jodel Brown – were chosen from among the top 42 aspiring footballers from the Caribbean and Central America to visit the United Kingdom and train at one of the biggest clubs in the world - the City Football Academy in Manchester, England.
The young Trini football stars along with Trevis Byron took part in the week-long Digicel Kickstart Academy recently held in Jamaica.
There they were challenged by the Manchester City coaches to fully absorb their training and impress them with their commitment to improving their game.
This year’s Digicel Kickstart programme, which began at the end of April and ended on June 24, provided the young footballers with the opportunity to not only sharpen their footballing skills and talents but to demonstrate a keen sense of character both on and off the pitch.
Brown of San Juan Jabloteh Football Club said, “I would like to thank Digicel for giving us this fantastic opportunity to train with world class football stars. I am eagerly looking forward to visiting the Manchester City Academy, meeting the famous players and absorbing all that there is to learn about football on the world stage.”
Garcia, a member of the Point Fortin Civic Football Club and who is a relative of Tyrel Emmanuel who, earlier this year, visited Manchester City as a Kickstart finalist, was still basking in the fantastic experience he had at the Academy.
“It was exciting to meet such very talented football players from the region. The going was tough, the pace was fast and the knowledge gained was priceless. I must thank Digicel for this extraordinary opportunity” he said.
He went on to state, “this experience has made me determined to become a professional footballer and I look forward to the visit to Manchester City where I hope to see a League game and meet many of the football stars of the Club.”
An elated Byron, who also attended the Kickstart Academy, said, “I would like to thank Digicel for giving young footballers the opportunity to attend the Academy.
It not only makes you realise what it takes to be a football great on the world stage but it allows you to make many friends from the region.
It was a wonderful experience.” The successful sportsmen all expressed their pleasure at the high standard of rigorous training received during the Kickstart Clinics and the Academy.
They said that although the competition was tough and other players were very talented indeed, it gave them a good idea of what life as a professional footballer would entail. Earlier this year, six of the top players from the 2015 Academy had the opportunity to train like a City player when they visited the Club’s training ground in Manchester.
They also attended a game between Manchester City and Everton where they witnessed City stars, including Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero, in action on the pitch.