Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Six St Lucia national footballers will be joining the Barbados Soccer Academy for the upcoming Barbados Football Association’s (BFA) 2018 season.

The six, whose ages range from 18 to 22, are Noah “Luckey” Nicholas, Alvinus Myers, Melvin Doxilly, Cassius “Messi” Joseph, Vino Barclett and Jamile Goodman.

The players will be attached to the academy for six months during the BFA Division 1 competition and director Jabez “Jack” Bovell said he expected them to enhance their football and academics.

“I want them to strive for upward mobility and making themselves better not only in football but also for an education because that is important. It goes together since you do academics along with pursuing football after acquiring a scholarship,” he told NATIONSPORT.

Bovell said he believed that overseas players coming to train spoke well for the academy, since being regional would eventually take the academy to being international.

“It is good that they could come here because it is now regional and it might become international too,” he said.

Bovell said the academy’s football programme held a certain level of prestige, which made it the number one choice for many athletes locally because of its high success rate in acquiring football scholarships in the United States. 

“They heard about the success of the Barbados Soccer Academy programme. Last year the academy would have gained three scholarships. We had about 11 scholarships within the last two years and 30 in the last ten years. They are here to train for six months where their talent would be seen by overseas coaches,” he said.

However, Bovell added that it was not only scholarships the academy had to offer because it was a programme with a difference since it also focused on assisting young athletes in attaining an education. 

“At the academy, education is the number one priority followed by football. We get both of them together to make the boys student athletes. At the Barbados Soccer Academy the only thing we don’t teach is foreign languages, so we have our own school within our football programme. While they are there they will be able to do SATs and so on,” he said

He added that three scouts visited the club at Passage Road last Friday and seemed to be interested in two of the players. However, he had a number of people knocking on doors to get youngsters a place at the club.

“I have about 30 emails from different coaches because of my international contacts in the United States. I have developed a lot of relationships with a lot of people. Any available spots they have they usually email me. Sometimes the academy sends a player overseas for a camp or trial at their university where they would be able to see them play,” he said.

Five of the six St Lucian players are currently in the island and the final one is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. (RG)

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