By Neto Baptiste
The start of the All Stars Elite Summer Football Camp, which was slated to start on July 5, has been delayed by a week as organisers seek to give clubs more time to identify players between the ages of 14 and 18 years old who meet the requirements set by the coordinators of the initiative.
This is according to one of the main organisers and former national player Mervyn Richards, who said the delay is mainly due to the late disseminating of information by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) to its member clubs.
Richards was, however, quick to add that the FA has been fully onboard since he first met with the body back in May.
“The association promised to assist in a lot of ways like with the grounds at the facility and also they will help us with some balls and stuff like that, and it was all done in good faith and they [ABFA] would have also sponsored 20 of the players,” he said.
Richards reminded that the camp, which will now start on July 12, will at first be open to all but will eventually be broken down to cater for the top 40 players coming out of the trials.
“We were thinking first of all about a trial for any amount of players to come and then we would select 40 at the end of it for continuous training, so the trial is free but for the rest of the week, down to the 27th of August, they [players] would have to pay $200,” he said.
The former national coach revealed also that the camp will no longer be based at the FA’s Paynters facility.
“In the beginning, before they got information from CONCACAF about the under-19 and under-20 and the girls so they have had to reschedule their programme to do training in the morning so we had to move to plan B, which is the Police Recreation Ground,” he said.
The sessions will run from 9 am until 12 pm daily at the newly announced venue with Richards, Micah Samuel and Rowan Benjamin as some of the coaches.