Chelsea Football Foundation completed a three-day stay on island with a Coaches Clinic at scenic Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, Vieux Fort, but that was after having selected Ryi Maryat, Keeroy Lionel and Anton Paul to represent St Lucia at the Digicel Regional Kick Start Clinic scheduled for Barbados later in the year.
Chelsea Football Foundation’s tour of duty on the island commenced with a press conference at the Landings at 10 am on Friday, May 3, 2013. The local media were introduced to Andy Ottley, Kane Kowburn and David Monk, with the latter providing insight on a three-year partnership between Digicel and Chelsea, that would see this highly successful UK based football club travel throughout Digicel territories assessing youth players and educating coaches. The objective is to use Chelsea’s proven football development model to influence how the game is played in the region.
Immediately following the press conference the action was transferred to the Sab Sporting Facility. Twenty-seven of the best Under 16 players under the tutelage of the three Chelsea coaches were put through an intensive four hour assessment, aimed at determining who possessed the best technical and tactical skills.
Using a speed, agility and quickness (saq) and a dribbling technique test, the individual speed, quickness, balance, coordination and technical ability with a ball of each payer was assessed.
When the dust settled and the sun moved west, Ryi Maryat (Micoud), Keeroy Lionel (Canaries) and Anton Paul (Dennery), were chosen to represent St Lucia at the Digicel Regional Kick Start Clinic to be held in Barbados later in the year. In addition, Lael Cherry of Castries was chosen as a Wild Card.
The Digicel Kick Start Clinic started early April 2013 at the Sab Sporting Facility. Since then approximately 120 of the best Under 16 players from 17 Football Districts, have gone through three Pre Clinics at two venues to reach this point.
In the words of Digicel’s marketing executive Kentonia Censey-Smith: ‘It has been a very long and demanding series of exercises to get to this point, but we at Digicel are confident that not only have we selected three of the best players to represent the island, but we have touched the lives of so many young players and coaches, provided hope and made a positive difference in their lives.”