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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015 – PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: It was their addiction to progress, amazing sportsmanship, agility and endurance that made Elijah Shade, Tyrel Emmanuel and Jon Paul Rochford stand out from the other aspiring footballers at the 2015 Digicel Kickstart Clinic earlier this year.


This selected trio will now be representing Trinidad and Tobago at the 2015 Digicel Kickstart Academy in Jamaica from October 26 where they will receive a week of advanced international training from Manchester City coaches.


On April 12 and 13 of this year Chelsea FC Senior International Football Development Officer, David Monk and Chelsea FC International Football Development Head Coach, Max Douglas were both left highly impressed with the performances of these three aspiring football stars and with good reason.


Months later and these boys are still unable to contain their excitement on this football highlight of their lives. The youngest of the bunch Elijah Shade, age 14, currently attends St Anthony's College and plays with the San Juan Jabloteh Football Club, was also voted as the most improved player of 2015.


He shares, “I was shocked, when I heard my name. I even looked around to see if there was another Elijah Shade. I immediately called my mother and then the word spread to my extended family.” He continues, “I count this as a blessing and a privilege because not only was I chosen out of about 180 persons overall but I was the first keeper to be chosen.”


Elijah’s father, Brent Shade also expressed how proud he was with his son for such an outstanding accomplishment, “It’s all my son is talking about. Thanks to Digicel, and their fantastic Kickstart initiative, Elijah has the opportunity to move a step closer to accomplishing his dream of being the greatest goalkeeper.”


Tyrel Emmanuel, age 16, who was chosen in the top 10 for the most outstanding players in the Secondary School Football League 2014/2015 season, as well as the best midfielder in Barbados in the Barbados Cup with Cox Coaching School also shared his views and expressions on the Digicel Kickstart Clinic/Academy. Tyrel added, “First all of nothing comes easy in life. The Digicel Kickstart Clinic was such a big opportunity for me and for all other young football enthusiasts. The academy could be my one and only chance to make it at the highest level.”


Expressing his gratitude, Tyrel continued, “I just want to compliment Digicel for the wonderful work they have been doing for the past 3 years. I think it's a big opportunity for anyone who wants to be a professional footballer in the future. The clinic is open for the public, all you got to do is work hard, pray and go out there and put your best foot forward.

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