Football academy for Falmouth
Richard Morais, Gleaner Writer
A football academy is in the making for Falmouth, Trelawny, intended to teach children between eight and 12 years the art and attitude for the sport.
The conceptualiser is Jamaican Larry Allen, who now teaches the art in the United States and has big plans for the youngsters. He noted that discussions with local authorities are in an advanced stage, to build the academy on the grounds of the Elleston Wakeland Centre in Falmouth.
"The academy will have an auditorium, classrooms, a library, a gym, a canteen and sleeping quarters," Allen revealed.
He said the plans also include turning the facility into a stadium and a good field for various sporting activities.
While funding is always a challenge for such a plan, Allen noted that some has been sourced, but more is needed and is appealing for corporate help.
He was in Jamaica in April at Elleston Wakeland Centre, along with a team including former Colombia player Luis Carlos Perea, Nelson Valenzuela of Guatemala and Tony Marsh from Jamaica to assist in the start-up process. The team then saw over 100 youngsters from the age range given for a one-week period. From this lot, 36 were chosen to continue for the start of the academy.
Allen came back towards the latter part of July and the boys underwent two weeks of training from nine to two o'clock on weekdays. They were provided with gear, including football boots, and a meal, during the sessions.
The academy will start in full later this month. The boys will be transported by bus to the centre three times per week for a one-and-a-half hour training session after school. All expenses will be absorbed by the academy. Former national player and present coach Cassman Williams will be the man at the helm of the academy.
"We want them before any set behaviour is instilled in the boys which can be negative towards accepting the training," Allen said referring to the agr grouping.
He said discipline will be stressed because indiscipline is one of the big challenges with Jamaican football.
He added that later down, the boys will be taught four foreign languages, as they are being geared towards professional careers worldwide. He was insistent, however, that "Everyone will not make it, therefore, other skills are going to be taught because the final analysis is for them to be successful men."