Castries, Saint Lucia – 1 April 2017 – Nearly seventy (70) up and coming youth footballers, between the ages of 13 and 16, had their skills put to the test over the weekend at the Flow Ultimate Football Experience, a competition put together by Flow and Manchester United Football Club and supported by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU). Boys and girls vied for the chance to participate in a talent development football camp in Trinidad and Tobago, and possibly win a trip to Old Trafford, Manchester to visit the Theatre of Dreams, and get to see Manchester United play live.
In the end, it was 13-year-old Jeremiah Justin of Northern United (Gros Islet) and Djal Augustin of 1987 All Stars (Anse La Raye) who best demonstrated the abilities needed to compete with 28 ballers from the other 14 Flow markets around the Caribbean.
Led by Deputy General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Football Association, Cyril ‘Ces’ Podd, local coaches put the kids through their paces at the SAB Playing Field in a series of challenges that tested their dribbling, short passing and control. The programme was specially designed for the Flow Ultimate Football Experience by coaches at the Manchester United Soccer School, and the 70 talented footballers were chosen by their clubs.
Jeremiah and Djal, each accompanied by a coach and parent, will now advance to a two-day skills session in Trinidad and Tobago to experience one-on-one training with CFU and Manchester United Soccer School coaches. The coaches and athletes will participate in a series of drills designed by the coaches and compete for the trip to the world-famous football stadium to witness Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season up close and personal. The VIP experience will also include a Manchester United Museum visit and a tour of the stadium.
Speaking on behalf of Flow Saint Lucia, Acting Marketing Manager Terry Finisterre expressed his delight for the two young men. He said: “I really do not think we could have two better ambassadors in Trinidad and Tobago for the regional finals. Djal is a youth international, and Jeremiah is obviously a very gifted youngster. We at Flow are pleased that through our partnership with Manchester United, we can afford such tremendous opportunities to our young athletes.”
Jeremiah, who a day later played for Gros Islet in the Under-15 SLFA Tournament final, was effusive, saying: “I am very proud to win this for myself, my family, and my community. I think we just came in here and gave it our best, and we are both really excited to have made it to the regional finals. I just want to say thank you to Flow, and I hope I make the best out of it in Trinidad.”
Meanwhile, SLFA Deputy General Secretary Cyril ‘Ces’ Podd added his voice, noting: “On behalf of the SLFA, I want to thank Flow, and I want to thank Manchester United for the wonderful opportunity for the guys. We wish the guys well, they are really very talented lads, and we know they will go out and do their best to represent Saint Lucia in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Other than Saint Lucia, The Flow Ultimate Football Experience has taken place in BVI, Curacao, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda. In the coming weeks, the other countries that will host are Anguilla, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks & Caicos, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Dominica.