Young football talents impress visiting coach
November 13, 2012

Young football talents impress visiting coach

Michael Harris, a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Level 3 licensed coach, says he is impressed with the talent of some of the young footballers in St Vincent and the Grenadines, but added that it must be harnessed properly.{{more}}

Harris, who is part of the Workington Reds, a semi-professional football club in England, is on his fifth annual visit to SVG.

He made the observation to SEARCHLIGHT last Thursday afternoon at the Victoria Park.

The Guyanese-born Harris who grew up in England, while here works out with the Ian Sardine-led System 3 Football Club and the SVG Football Academy.

“I have been coming here every year and I have identified at least three outstanding talents who can do well in the youth development system in England,” Harris said.

He singled out 12-year-old Carlos Solomon, aka Zidane, whom he said has “amazing technical ability”.

In addition to their technical abilities, Harris said, the youngsters have shown tenacity and willingness to learn.

“… getting some of the boys to England is important,” he said.

In light of the limited financial resources of the SVG Football Academy, Harris is urging local businesses to forge a linkage to enable the budding talents to be exposed and possibly exported.

The plan, Harris said, will see the business entities providing financial assistance to the young to get to England.

In return, the SVG Football Academy and System 3 would market the businesses’ merchandise on the System 3 website, which Harris said is getting a lot of hits.

A similar partnership in 2005, between the System 3 youth programme and an offshore bank, United Bank, saw two players, Harvey Derrick and Azhino Solomon, journeying to Italy to spend two weeks with the Cagliari club.

Solomon, now 18, has since moved on to represent SVG at the Under-17, Under-20, national schools’ level and is a member of the senior national team.

Harris has strong Vincentian roots. His deceased grandfather was from Georgetown and his wife of 30 years, Rita Ballantyne, is a former resident of Sandy Bay.(RT)