Digicel’s Football Development Tour Winds up in Jamaica


Assistant Coach of the Jamaica Digicel Clinics Theodore Whitmore with Head Coach John Barnes on Match Day.jpg

Head Coach for the Digicel Kick Start Football Clinics, John Barnes, was proud to commend the Jamaican National U-20 team yesterday, on their 1-0 win in a rigorous match against Seba United in Kingston, Jamaica. Marking the end of the eight country Digicel Clinics, the Nationals fought hard and were victorious against a strong team. In congratulating the U-20s, who he had been guiding for two full days before, Barnes said, "It was not an easy win, but a well deserved win. It is not always easy for a team that does not usually play together to win against a team like Seba United who play together all the time. You worked together well today in the true spirit of teamwork."

Throughout the tour Barnes has been keenly observing the enormous talent in Caribbean football and now must execute his mandate to choose six footballers from the region to take part in one week's training at Sunderland AFC's Academy of Light in the UK. While this has been one main focus, Barnes' first-rate coaching skills, that facilitated development in an outstanding number of winners on every leg of the tour; have also been lauded in each island visited.

Reggae Boyz' Technical Director Rene Simoes, JFF President Horace Burrell and Digicel Clinics Head Coach John Barnes.jpg

Head Coach for the National Junior team and Assistant Coach of the Jamaica Digicel Clinics, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore commented on the two day training sessions - saying, “What John Barnes has implemented here is exactly what these players needed. They needed to be reminded of the basics and John has brought it back to basics. We have a lot of talented players here and these Clinics have helped them to adopt the right attitude, the will, the discipline and the focus needed to be professional."

Seba United put up a good fight against the Jamaica National U20 on match day of the Digicel Clinics.jpg

Digicel's decision to highlight and develop football brilliance in the Caribbean has also been highly spoken of during the tour. Jamaica Football Federation President, Horace Burrell told press recently that it was in 2005 that Digicel launched its initiative to sponsor and develop Caribbean football. He praised the Clinics noting they are, "A true reflection of that Digicel has been doing with Caribbean football."

Jamaica National U20 playing against Seba United on Match day of the Digicel Clinics.jpg

Both Seba United and National U-20 players were given wise words of advise from Barnes after the match yesterday. He said, "While only six boys from the region will be picked to go to Sunderland, this should not dishearten those who are not chosen. The opportunity is there and you never know who may be watching, so stay diligent, keep focused and work hard to be the best footballers you can be."

The Jamaican born Barnes will announce the six talented footballers who will travel to the UK for training at the end of February in Kingston, Jamaica.