U.S. Coaches Here To Seek Football Talent.
THE 2017 College Player Showcase got off to an unbelievable start on Thursday evening at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium Players’ Lounge. The local press, sponsors and other invited guests were treated to an evening of information relating to organizing the Showcase and embarking on studies in the USA.
The Saint Lucia Football Association President, The CEO of Free Kick Foundation, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports all shared their opinions about the importance of this once in a lifetime initiative in youth football development, as well as reinforcing the values of education and career building.
At the event two of the five coaches also shared some valuable information on the requisite qualities in a student athlete being sought by U.S coaches.
The Showcase officially commenced yesterday at the Bay Gardens Hotel Conference Room with a Coaches Clinic and a Student Athlete Symposium at the CSA Centre last evening.
The events continue today and tomorrow.
The Student Athletic Symposium is open to all interested student athletes and their parents/guardians. All eight U.S based coaches on island will address the gathering and take questions on the following themes: The US College Environment, Academic requirements and the role of the local club, coach and parents in getting student athletes ready for the experience.
The coaches here are: Ricky Hill – Essex College, Frank Taal – North Carolina Weslyan University, Ike Ofoje – University of South Carolina, Michael Behonick – Pittsburgh University, Tom Myers – Philadelphia University, Brad Milone – North East Super Recruiter, Monique Edouard – Essex College and Paul Snapa – Buttler University.
President of the SLFA Lyndon Cooper said: “We proudly stand beside one of our partners Free Kick Foundation which will help the propulsion of achieving the vision set and defined by the SLFA. Today highlights a significant and special meaning to our partner; it signifies that once we work together and share a common goal anything is possible.
“To the young player, today means that opportunity has come closer to our beautiful shores and that their dreams are as tangible as the grass they will play on. The lack of opportunity has now been removed from the equation and their future can now be decided by their individual ability, work ethic and academic aptitude.”
Cooper added: “It also means that life changing opportunity is now within their grasp and I know for a fact there will be players who will grab on this opportunity with both hands.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports Donavan Williams took the opportunity to thank Free Kick Foundation for their bold initiative towards Saint Lucia youth currently involved in sports and said from a ministry’s standpoint he intended to collaborate even more with FKF to ensure the initiative has a greater reach than it has at its present time.
Williams continued: “I also see it as something that can be developed even further, with the Tourism hat that I once had. I think there is an opportunity for us to really develop a stronger tourism link with an initiative such as this. Certainly going forward into the New Year, we will continue to talk to Free Kick Foundation about how we can develop initiatives like this and others to absolutely demonstrate how the linkages can really occur. When I look around with all of the individuals who are part of this, it gives me a lot of hope not only will this particular initiative this year and this weekend going to be successful, but more importantly we have a platform for us to build something that is very strong for the future.”
He continued: “This weekend is going to be important because it’s going to be a true showcase, not just for the young persons that will be participating, but an opportunity for us collectively to showcase the value of this type of initiative and what it can do in the lives of the young people in Saint Lucia.”
Free Kick Foundation CEO, Arron King who is originally from Castries (CDC area and now resides in the USA said: “This weekend is a huge one for us; it’s an opportunity for our young and aspiring footballers to go out there and show the best version of themselves and be able to seize that opportunity and move forward. “