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Barbados/Brazil football link

Barbados/Brazil football link Dexter marshall (centre) is flanked by Brazil Ambassador Appio Claudio Acquarone (right) and Stephen Rowe.

By Justin Marville | Thu, December 09, 2010 - 12:00 AM

DEXTER MARSHALL’s samba goal is finally becoming a Bajan reality.

Barbados’ best junior footballers will be provided a gateway to be trained and recruited by professional Brazilian clubs after international football exchange programme Soccer Express recently formed a partnership with Marshall’s Brazilian Soccer Academy.

Details of the collaborative effort were disclosed yesterday at the Brazilian Embassy in Hastings, Christ Church, following the return of five young footballers who recently completed a historic training stint in the South American nation.

“This will give us access to professional football clubs, provide training to the youth of Barbados in the methodology of Brazilian techniques, develop our skills in the most advanced football teaching centre in the world, and provide the possibility of placement for Barbadians in professional international clubs,” said Marshall.

“It allows us a yearly invitation to compete in youth tournaments in Europe, where top clubs will be looking for talent for their clubs.” A Brazilian-trained professional coach, Marshall envisioned such a prospect for Barbados football since he attended his first training course in Brazil 20 years ago.

But the financial support to fund such scholarships and trips proved his ultimate undoing over the last two decades, and even almost provided a challenging hurdle this year.

However, Marshall was finally able to take Shane Hermas, Damien Lorde, Raymond Hope, Mica Mings and Tremaine St Hill to the land of samba for two months of intense training.

“I am happy to know that we now have a gateway to the best football institution in the world where our talented players will be trained and recruited by Brazilian clubs, [because] I believe we have a chance to produce professional players in Brazil,” said Marshall.

“I also believe we will start to see Brazilian and European professional clubs visiting our shores to play matches against our national teams and clubs, building stronger football links while providing sports tourism in Barbados.

“This partnership will give us a competitive advantage in offering something new to tourists. Barbados can become known as an island which offers opportunity for exposure to training from the greatest football nation in the world,” he added.

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