Thursday 7th April, 2016 – Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The Digicel Kickstart Clinic has just wrapped up in Haiti where Manchester City FC coaches got to see the budding talent in one of the Caribbean’s leading football countries.
Although the players and the coaches did not speak the same language, the aspiring young footballers did not disappoint and delivered on the coaches’ expectations during the two-day clinic, quickly adapting to the training and learning as much as they could. Digicel Kickstart lead coach and CFS Project Manager, Alan Dixon, was pleased with the boys’ performance, saying; “We took the boys through our training routine and they quickly embraced the philosophy we introduced to them and the language barrier wasn’t an issue at all. Football is a global game and once you put the ball on the pitch, it all flows from there.”
The Manchester City FC football philosophy encourages players to be expressive and creative so that they can play ‘beautiful football’. Alan explained that the boys were well in tune with this concept saying; “It was encouraging to see how well they were able to understand the training and what we wanted them to do. They had a good attitude – on and off the pitch – and they all worked hard to make the most of the time they spent at the Digicel Kickstart Clinic.”
At the end of the Clinic, Alan and his coaching team selected three boys to represent Haiti at the Digicel Kickstart Academy: 14 year-old Fritz Paul, 15 year-old Leedger Lajeunesse and 16 year-old Mackendy Richeme.
The Manchester City FC coaches will travel to 14 countries across the Caribbean and Central America to select players to attend the Digicel Academy. From the Academy, they will select the top players to continue training with them for a week at the City Football Academy, Manchester City’s elite training and youth development facility in Manchester, England. While there, they will get a unique opportunity to experience life as a professional footballer – learning the tactics and strategies employed by Manchester City FC first team players.
The Digicel Kickstart Clinic programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for thousands of aspiring young footballers. Through the Kickstart Clinics, participants not only learn football skills and technical abilities, but also develop an ethos of professionalism and a good attitude – key attributes of successful people across all walks of life.