Three talented youths from St. Kitts & Nevis were recently chosen to join their counterparts from across eight other countries in the Caribbean, Central America and the United States at the week-long Digicel Academy in Barbados next October.
Sixteen-year-old Raheem Francis and 15-year-olds, Tahir Hanley and Jamar Smith were picked by John Barnes, Liverpool, England’s Kick Start head coach.
The athletes are among the region’s top talent and will participate in a clinic in Barbados that will enable them to experience what life is like as a professional footballer.
Commenting on the talent he found in St. Kitts and Nevis, Barnes said, “Considering the size of the country – with only 53,000 people, the standard of talent is probably the highest in the Caribbean per capita. What’s really great to see is the level of importance that the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association places on youth development – and it shows in the discipline of the boys, their time-keeping and their attitude. I was very pleased with St. Kitts and Nevis – as I always am.”
An excited teenaged Hanley said, “I felt so happy when I heard my name being called out by John Barnes – and I am so happy for my two team mates, Raheem and Jamar. We are truly excited to go to Barbados and train under the Chelsea coaches.”
The final leg of the clinics takes place in the coming week in Jamaica and will find Barnes completing his search for the region’s top football talent.