Thu | Sep 21, 2017

NCB banks on young Reggae Boyz

Published:Saturday | May 21, 2016 | 5:00 AMMarc Stamp
Patrick Hylton (left), group managing director of National Commercial Bank, poses with a team jersey after handing over a sponsorship cheque of $3 million to head coach of the Jamaica Under-20 team, Ricardo Gardner (right), at the Jamaica Football Federation’s head office in New Kingston yesterday.

The National Commercial Bank contributed $3 million for a six month period towards the national Under-20 football programme. The announcement was made at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) offices in New Kingston, yesterday.

The sponsorship is to assist the team in preparation for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Men's Under-20 qualifiers to be held in the Dominican Republic, June 15-19.

Patrick Hylton, NCB Group managing director, said that his organisation's decision to assist the Under-20 programme is because of four areas that they focus on.

"We have four areas - education, youth development, community development and sports - that we contribute towards. There is a process for development, so we think it is important to support the youngsters," said Hylton.

JFF's general secretary, Raymond Grant, while appreciative of NCB's contribution said that the budget to prepare the team for the CFU Under-20 tournament stands at $10 million.

"Well, preparation of the team is running up to $10 million. However, the JFF has its role to play. We are closing the gap, and the team will also benefit from the recent Digicel sponsorship," Grant disclosed.

Coach of the team, Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner, said the sponsorship will definitely motivate the group towards it's goal of qualifying for the Under-20 FIFA World Cup next year.

"I remember the day we went in to see Mr Hylton, he didn't hesitate," Gardner disclosed. "With the support, we will get there in 2017. It will take hard work and dedication, and we think the youngsters are gifted and moving to a professional level. They have the talent to achieve and NCB believes in the youngsters."