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After the intense preselection, clinic and academy phases of the Digicel Kickstart programme, two youngsters from Trinidad and Tobago are closer to realising their football dreams. Jodel Brown and Judah Garcia will on October 19 travel to Manchester, England for an opportunity of a lifetime.

From the age of five, both young men decided to pursue a career in football and have since worked diligently at perfecting their chosen sport. Now at 15, Judah and Jodel were selected from among their peers locally, at the Kickstart Clinic and from across participating Digicel markets at the Digicel Academy, to attend a one-week training programme under the watchful eyes of Manchester City coaches.

Brown has been a member of the San Juan Jabloteh Football Club for 10 years and explained that “as a child football was something that was always in my blood”. Being inspired by Andreas Iniesta from Barcelona FC, he said “I look at this opportunity to visit the Manchester City Academy as a stepping stone in my football career, so my aim is to take what I will learn there to improve my football skills.” Garcia, a member of the Point Fortin Civic Football Club has been inspired by his family from a very young age. His older brother (Levi) is a professional player in Netherlands and another member of his family, Tyrel Emmanuel, was a 2015 Kickstart finalist who visited the Manchester Academy in January of this year. Lionel Messi of Barcelona FC is Garcia’s favourite footballer.

He sees Digicel Kickstart as a great opportunity to further his dream and career in football. He expects, from his Manchester City experience, to gain more knowledge from coaches in a top club which he believes would boost his confidence. He is also excited to pass on that knowledge to his peers locally.

The pair will join other successful candidates from the region in this year’s Kickstart Manchester experience at City’s elite training and youth development facility where they will experience first-hand what it entails to train as a professional footballer in a competitive and high intensity environment.