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Academy secures US trials for two

Ezra Stuart

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IN ITS EFFORTS to develop a strategic relationship with overseas clubs, the Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA) has arranged trials in the United States for two of the island’s promising footballers.
National Under-17 striker Zari Prescod, who scored four goals during the recent CONCACAF qualifying campaign for the Under-17 World Cup, left the island on Saturday for a one-week try-out with Chicago Magic Soccer Club.
And according to BSA’s chief executive officer, Jabez “Jack” Bovell, Prescod will be followed on Saturday by Rashad Jules, also a former national Under-17 representative.
Bovell told NATIONSPORT that during the academy’s last tour to Disney Showcase in December, the Under-17 and Under-18 teams were marketed at a high level and he received inquiries concerning two attacking players born in 1992 and 1994.
“Many scouts saw the teams in action and they were impressed,” Bovell said.
He added that since the academy was founded in 2004, 18 members had secured soccer and academic scholarships to prestigious universities in the United States.
“This new developing market will be penetrated – players, who might want to go professional and play in Major League Soccer or in Europe; this is the route that we will position Barbadian players,” Bovell declared.
Prescod, a St Michael School alumnus who is also a member of the Pro-Shottas club, had attended the Disney Showcase with the BSA.
Jules, a former BSA player who now represents Kick Start FC, was the top goalscorer with 19 goals in last year’s Secondary Schools Tournament, helping St Leonard’s Boys to win the championship.
Bovell said that the two were chosen on talent, skill, discipline and character and would be good ambassadors for Barbados.
“The Chicago Magic regularly has college and pro scouts at our training and events. In addition, the club plays at several national level tournaments and showcases where dozens of scouts attend.
“Both players will get maximum exposure as Magic USSF Academy players and it is the club’s objective to see them succeed wherever they have the skills set and opportunity to do so,” Bovell added.