May 27, 2014
Final three selected for Digicel Chelsea Kick Start Clinic

Speed, technical ability and versatility are the attributes that led to three local footballers, Jahvan Peters, Azara Browne-Dennie and Derron Rouse earning a week’s placement at the Digicel Chelsea Academy in Barbados.{{more}}

The youngsters were chosen during the second annual local Digicel Chelsea Kick Start Clinic, which took place here last week, Monday, May 19 to Wednesday, May 21 at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex.

Another youngster Kewon Clarke has also made the shortlist as a wild card and can earn a place at the academy through a voting process that will take place on social media at the end of June.

The four boys were among a group of 30 youngsters vying for the top three available spots and the wild card position after being chosen to take part in the local Chelsea clinic through local clinics set up by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football federation (SVGFF).

Working with the youths during the training sessions were Chelsea’s senior international development officer David Monk, international technical support officer Andrew Ottley and international head coach Kobina Elliott.

Monk, the leader of the delegation, said that it was very difficult to get down to four players, as all the boys showed talent.

He added, however, that by the first day, his team had a shortlist of about eight players, having been looking for attributes from the athletes that included their versatility, athleticism, speed and technical ability.

“It was extremely difficult, but first of all, Peters, who is a goalkeeper, was excellent in the air, had good distribution and was a good leader from the back…fantastic…so he was the first name on the sheet,” said Monk.

He added: “We need people who are going to be utility players and can play in more than one position; so then it came to Derron, who is very athletic, a very fast player, great technical ability, kicks with both feet, so he can play on any side as a defender. He also has a good size and athletic build.”

Monk described the next pick Azara Browne-Dennie, also known as Marcus, as similar to last year’s Barbados Chelsea clinic’s Most Improved Player Dino John.

“Marcus is strong and has a low centre of gravity; he controls the pace of the game and is a good centre midfielder that can also play right back, left back, centre back or centre midfield. He is very calm and composed,” said Monk.

In relation to the wild card, Kewon Clarke, Monk said that Clarke is a very good forward/attacking player, who plays composed football and he is hoping that he can make it to the academy when the wild card process is finished.

Monk revealed that the local lads will join over 30 other players from islands like Jamaica, Trinidad, Bermuda, Cayman (players already selected), Haiti, Suriname, Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia (after St Vincent visit) for the session in Barbados that will take place the week of October 26.

Meanwhile, the Barbados bound Peters, who hails from Stubbs, is a 16-year-old, Form Three student of the Dr J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School.

The 5 foot 5 inch goalkeeper said that being chosen is a very proud moment for him.

“I feel very proud right about now; I never feel so happy in my life,” said the lanky youngster, who plays for Ian Sardine’s System 3 Football Club.

Derron Rouse is from Campden Park and plays for Park Side Rollers. He is a 16-year-old, Form Three St Martin’s Secondary School student and plays as a central defender.

“I feel very excited because I tried last year and I did not make it, so that gave me more motivation to try harder this year and I kept trying harder and harder to be successful and I made it,” said Derron.

Meanwhile Azara Browne-Dennie is a 16-year-old Rose Place resident and Form Three student of the Dr J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School.

He plays for System 3 and is a central midfielder.

“Last year I did not make it, so I’m very proud this year to be representing SVG at the clinic in Barbados,” said Azara who has played in leagues in Campden Park and Redemption Sharpes.

The wild card pick is 15-year-old St Vincent Grammar School student and Kingstown Hill resident Kewon Clarke.

The emotional Clarke, who is a forward player for System 3, said that he is kind of disappointed that he didn’t get an automatic pick but if he is eventually chosen to go to Barbados, “expect a lot from me.”

Commenting, Marketing manager at Digicel Juno DeRoche said that when Digicel came to SVG 11 years ago, one of the main aims was to develop the youths of the country from a grassroots level, “and this Digicel Chelsea combination just reiterates what our mission is.”

DeRoche has also encouraged the boys chosen to do their best, as last year’s Most Improved Player at the Clinic in Barbados, the local talent Dino John is guaranteed a University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados scholarship, once he maintains his grades.

“Take the opportunity to improve and better yourself. Do not let the opportunity pass you by,” said DeRoche, who is also asking the various communities that the boys come from to support them.

“Support the youngsters, as it takes a community to raise a child and with your support they can go far,” said DeRoche.

The process also received the support from Minister of Sports Cecil ‘Cess’ Mckie and president of the SVGFF Venold Coombs.