Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 16th 2015 Contents A47
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Emerging footballer John-Paul Rochford, 15, the
brother of Central FC centre, midfielder Jean-Luc
Rochford, is one of three teenagers heading to Bar-
bados in October to participate in the Digicel (Foot-
Rochford (John-Paul), a form four student at
Queen s Royal College, who plays at centre midfield,
will join goal keeper Elijah Shade, 14, from St Antho-
ny s College and Tyrel Emmanuel, 16, from Shiva
Boys College Hindu College at the one week training
camp at which Barclays Premier League coaches
from Chelsea FC would conduct training.
But Andre Raymond was awarded a wild card,
which could only be activated if the national com-
munity headed to the programme s Facebook page
and vote for him, overwhelmingly.
From a field of 31 athletes who took part in the
two-day clinic held at St Mary s College Grounds
on Serpentine Road in St Clair, Port-of-Spain, which
ended Monday, the trio impressed former Chelsea
player David Monk and his team.
Monk was the senior International Football Devel-
opment Officer for the Chelsea FC Foundation and
head coach of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics.
Rochford, a player of the sport for the past ten
years, said he learnt about the programme from
friends who came across further information on
Of his selection, he said "I feel shocked! The
feeling overall is very pleasing for my family and
for me. I feel good."
Shade, a Chelsea fan, expressed confidence that
his school would be proud of his latest achieve-
Personally, he said, the feeling was a good. "I just
want to thank Almighty God, and my father for
being right there. Every step of the way. I want
to thank God...put God first and apply myself."
Emmanuel, a form four student and die-hard
Chelsea fan, was glad he took his coach s advice to
participate in the clinic.
"It feels very good. I am very excited to be part
of the Digicel Academy," he said.
His recalled his mother s reaction to news of his
intended participation as one filed with excitement.
He believed she would have another reason to cheer.
Monk lauded Digicel s decision to bring Chelsea
back to T&T.
"We go from island to island. We do a ten-island
tour. Last year was 14. The year before that was
eleven. Every year, the talent certainly gets better.
Last year in Trinidad was an extremely difficult
decision for us picking three players! Anthony Her-
bert, one of the guys who came through to the
Academy, was a wonderful ambassador to T&T. He
really flew the flag high. We came back here this
year. He set the bench mark very high and we expect-
ed the ability to be high. You guys have surpassed
that. You ve really done yourselves proud. It s a very
difficult decision for us. It s the only market we
have visited in the three years that we felt that there
are ten to eleven players who can possibly represent
this country at the Academy," said Monk.
He went on to express his team s delight to work
with athletes under the banner of the T&T Special
Olympics Committee. This level of engagement, he
said, was key to the work done at the Chelsea Foun-
dation, where the outfit engaged the wider com-
Monk said, "Our Foundation, very much like (the)
Digicel Foundation on a whole is about trying to
encourage participation in sport in any ability or
through any platform. For us to have that engagement
and the opportunity to not just benefit 30 players,
but to benefit everybody in the community is won-
derful for us."
Christopher Edmund, senior sponsorship officer
at Digicel said the Digicel Kick Start Clinic had a
fantastic start with interest shown from over 200
After the two-day coaching and trials, he said,
comments received from the coaches were that
footballers exhibiting skills were some of the best
talent ever seen in the three years of the clinic.
Edmund described the clinic as a pivotal step for
young footballers pursuing careers in sports. He
went on to encourage those making the final cut
to embrace the tenets of discipline on which the
programme was conceptualised as they go further
in their training as well as everyday life.
Rochford, Shade and Emmanuel
for Digicel Barbados camp
CONGRATULATIONS: From left, goalkeeper Elijah Shade, John-Paul Rochford and
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