Barbados: The team of Sixteen young footballers from Kickstart Rush Club of Barbados placed third in the International Rush Cup Youth Football Tournament. It was held last month at the Sandpiper Bay Resort & Halpatiokee Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Eight national players were members of the team and they are Eragon Bridgeman-Seale 15, (Parkinson School), Ethan Haynes 15 and Jamarco Johnson 13 (The St. Michael School), Jacob Gollop 13 (Harrison College), Shae-Shon Scantlebury 14, (St. Leonard’s Boys), Jonathan McFarlane 15, (Queen’s College) and 14 year-old Shihab Juman (St. Winifred’s School).
They were joined by Captain of the team Ky-mani Trotman 16 and Jeremiah Brewster 14 (Deighton Griffith), Cody Roberts 16, (Providence School), Jasper Hutchinson 14, (The St. Michael School), Jonathan Neblett-Roach, 14 (Combemere), Troy Corbin 15 and Jessie Pinto16 (St. Winifred’s), Warren Holder 15 (Harrison College) and Ben Everett 16 (Everett Heritage Academy).
The team was the lone from Caribbean competing against teams from North, Central and South America for the Rush Cup title.
The boys also managed to impress the Directors of the tournament with their skills and behaviour and they were invited to return for next year’s tournament as well as to field a team in the under-12 Rush Fest in Colorado in July next year.
Rush Soccer, the home of many of the United States current and former outstanding player is a global brand that aims to help players achieve success by assisting them to showcase their skills at the highest level of competition.
Rush offers a national team equipped with the best players from the region to travel and compete against international clubs.
Four of the boys in the Barbados squad were selected to try out for Rush National team. They are Jamarco Johnson, Shabib Juman, Jonathan Neblett-Roach and Jacob Gollop.
Coach Renaldo Gilkes who travelled with the team is satisfied that the tour was a successful one.
“It was an encouraging one for Barbados football as the boys represented well and the Directors of the tournament were impressed by the behaviour of the boys as well as the talent of the team. The boys played three games in three days which is a bit hectic and they were all able to perform and maintain good standards”, said Gilkes.
While expressing his satisfaction, Gilkes said that, “To participate in the Rush Soccer tournament, teams need to be invited and the display put on by the boys, earned us an invitation to return next year. We were also invited to participate in the ‘Rush Fest” for under-12 players which would be held in Colorado next July”.
“Kickstart is a Rush team and the involvement with Rush gives us the opportunity to travel and that offers exposure for the boys, helps them to form friendships and provides opportunities for networking”, Gilkes added.
Speaking about the success of Kickstart, Gilkes said that, “Kickstart is the place to be. The club won the under-15 National futsal competition in January and they finished second in the Barbados Cup in April. They also won the BFA national Youth cup in June and they were promoted to the premier league for the first time in the club’s history.
Many of the boys who traveled on the Rush tour have already played for the club’s senior men’s team.