St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); A rising teenage soccer star from Newtown has been selected to compete in the FLOW Ultimate Experience in Trinidad where Manchester United Soccer School Coaches will be evaluating the skills of the competition’s participants.
16-year-old Rohan Joseph, a forward on Winners Circle Newtown United Under 17 team, is one of two youngsters that were selected to represent St. Kitts in the regional skills competition after a series of local tryouts. The other player is Tequani Williams of Verchilds.
WINN FM spoke with Kevin Welsh, Coach of Newtown’s Under 17 and Under 14 squads, who will accompany Rohan to Trinidad along with the young man’s father. He explained how the competition works.
“FLOW and Manchester United organized the Ultimate Football Experience; it’s about passing, controlling and other drills. Three players between the ages of 13-16 were selected from each local team, they went to Warner Park to compete and the two top players were selected along with their coaches to head down to Trinidad where they will compete against others from the different islands throughout the CONCACAF.
“Whoever wins there will the prize will be to go from there to England to see a Man U game at Old Trafford.”
Coach Welsh said he is extremely proud of Rohan, whom he describes as having the skills of a player in their 20s. He said the competition could open up scholarship and other opportunities for the young man.
“As a student athlete I couldn’t be more proud of him. Just to be showing the kind of work ethic this young man has exhibited, I cant be more proud of him.
“You’re seeing a young individual growing and doing something positive; always working hard; a positive role model. Due to all the stuff that’s going on here on the island with all the violence and shootings and the gangs, it’s basically a change of pace when you see a young man doing something positive and possibly getting a chance to be seen by other people outside of St. Kitts and possibly having that opportunity to play on a team.
“It might seem like something very small but who knows, somebody could say ‘hey I’m interested in this young man.”
The Coach praised the efforts of the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) as it relates to the development of the youths in the game. He encouraged young players to be mindful of the academic side of being a sportsman in today’s world.
“I see the SKNFA putting a lot of emphasis on the youth; getting things started, keeping them together, coaching them up technically, getting them ready to go to the next level.
“As a Club, what we try to preach to the Under 14 and 17, we deal with a lot of discipline, technique, a lot of tactical skills, and we emphasize school, because school is very, very important.
“Some of them get so caught up in playing football and we want to get them to utilize that as a vehicle to push them on to higher learning.”
The two teens will depart the federation on Friday, and the competition will take place May 6th and 7th. From the 30 finalists in the skills challenge, two winners, one legal guardian and their respective coach will receive the grand prize of a trip to watch a Premiere League game featuring Manchester United at their home field of Old Trafford in England.