The Digicel Kickstart Academy is set to begin in Jamaica on Sunday 26th October at Sabina Park, where the best footballing talent that the region has to offer will be on display and will undergo a week of intense training under the guidance of the coaches from the Chelsea FC Foundation.

The Academy trains these aspiring young players not only by developing their skills on the pitch, but also teaching them valuable skills and attributes – such as team work and respect – which will help to improve them as players and as individuals. The Kickstart programme has helped thousands of players from the Caribbean and Central America over the last eight years and has seen a number of them going on to represent their schools, communities and their countries on an international stage.

Most notably, last year’s Academy MVP and Jamaican schoolboy football star, Cadine Graham, received a scholarship to attend the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados, as a result of being scouted while at the Digicel Academy. His success is testament to the quality training and guidance provided by the coaching team from the Chelsea FC Foundation – led by Senior International Football Development Officer, David Monk, who said; “We are extremely proud of Cadine and have high hopes for his future success. The Kickstart programme and the Academy have been integral in the development of many players across the Caribbean and Central America – from the grassroots level upward – and the Chelsea FC Foundation is delighted to be a part of such a unique initiative that impacts so many players in the region. Through the Kickstart programme we are ensuring the development of the next generation of football players across the Caribbean and Central America will benefit from the best training possible.”

With the Academy being held in Jamaica this year, the level of talent and excitement is sure to continue as Sabina Park will be hosting top class footballing talent next week.

Digicel Jamaica CEO, Barry O’Brien, expressed his excitement when he said; “Without a doubt the region has produced, and continues to produce, some of the best footballers – as is evident with so many of them playing in the top leagues around the world. Digicel is happy to support these aspiring young players as they embark on a journey to becoming the best that they can be – both on and off the pitch. Our partnership with Chelsea FC Foundation is ensuring that they receive the best coaching available and we hope the boys will not only train hard, but have fun doing so.”

The Digicel Kickstart Academy begins on Sunday 26th October and ends on Saturday 1st November with a match between the Academy players and the Jamaica National U-16 team.

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