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digicel_john.jpg Talented young footballers will have a once in a lifetime chance to learn invaluable football skills courtesy of Digicel, the largest sponsors of football in the Caribbean today.

The announcement which was made today will see talented balers learning techniques from arguably the Caribbean's greatest ever football player, while at the same time being afforded the chance to realize their dream of becoming professional footballers. Led by former England and Liverpool star John Barnes, who takes on the role of Head Coach for the clinics, the Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics begin in early 2008 and take place in Guyana, Barbados, Haiti, Antigua, Suriname, Trinidad, St. Kitts and Jamaica. Six of the most talented young footballers to participate in the clinics will be chosen by John Barnes to travel to the UK to spend a week at a top English Barclays Premier League football club, where they will take part in an intensive training session with the club.

Speaking at the photoshoot for the Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics, John Barnes said, "I'm looking forward to the clinics and to seeing the level of talent amongst the next generation of Caribbean footballers. You see what happened in Africa 20 to 30 years ago when a lot of people were slow to recognize the talent, well, the Caribbean is an untapped market. Talent here needs to be harnessed and given an opportunity and these clinics developed by Digicel are an opportunity to do just that. In England, they now recognize the fact that although Africa is saturated, this is the next place where you are going to get
talented footballers coming out to grace the Premier League."

Digicel Group Commercial Director, Brian Finn, said of the clinics, "The Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics offer young aspiring footballers a fantastic opportunity to learn key skills of the game by training with world-class footballer, John Barnes. Digicel is already a huge supporter of Caribbean football through the Digicel Caribbean Cup, Digicel Shield and Digicel International matches and these clinics are another example of our commitment to the game." The clinics, which are run in association with the Caribbean Football Union, were developed by Digicel, with the support of FIFA Vice-President, Jack Warner, who has been a huge assistance to Digicel in helping raise the profile of football in the Caribbean.

Full details of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics will be announced over the coming weeks and will include details on how local clubs and school teams have the opportunity to be part of these clinics which will help them realize their dream of being the next International football star from the Caribbean, playing in the Barclays English Premier League.