Twelve year-old Damario Francis (left) of the Whitehall Football Academy and Nathan Skeete of the Pro Shottas during the Flow Skills Challenge. (GPs)
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Emerging youth footballers Nathan Skeete of the Pro Shottas and Damario Francis of the Whitehall Football Academy are one step closer to achieving their ultimate dream of seeing Manchester United play live at Old Trafford.
Skeete, a utility player who is also a member of the national Under-17 team, and 12-year-old Francis, also a budding utility player, bested more than 60 of the island’s top junior ballers when the local leg of the Flow Skills Challenge took place at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex last weekend.
It was a doubly sweet moment as all players between the ages of 12 and 16 were specially invited upon the recommendation of their respective clubs for the unique competition organised by telecoms provider Flow and official partner Manchester United.
The Flow Skills Challenge, which was also sanctioned by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and the Barbados Football Association (BFA), saw local coaches, drawn from a number of youth programmes, putting the youngsters through their paces in a series of challenges that tested their dribbling, short passing and control.
In the end, it was Combermere student Skeete and Alexandra student Francis who won themselves and their coaches a trip to Trinidad to participate in the second leg of the Challenge and possibly win a chance to attend a Manchester United home game against Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams on April 29.
First, they will have to compete against 28 other youth ballers drawn from the 14 Flow markets around the Caribbean in a two-day skills session with CFU and Manchester United Soccer School coaches.
Both coach and player will participate in a series of drills and compete for the trip to the world-famous football stadium to witness one of Manchester United’s final Premier League games of the season up close and personal. The VIP experience will also include a visit to the Manchester United Museum and a personal tour of the Red Devils’ Stadium.
The Flow Skills Challenge has been specially designed by coaches at the Manchester United Soccer School and is delivered to young Caribbean footballers through the club’s partnership with Flow. (PR)