South Carolina coach on scouting mission at Santos
Several top schoolboy footballers will converge on the Bell/Chung complex today to showcase their skills in the presence of South Carolina coach Tony Allan, in an effort to secure a football scholarship to the United States-based institution.
Although Allan will be the only coach on hand, he will also be doing scouting duties for other schools, many of whom got a glimpse of local talent during the All Schools tour of Florida recently and want to see more of certain players.
“I understand he will be scouting for players for other coaches in other schools. They had sent some scouts to look at the All Manning and All daCosta teams in Florida. They saw some players that they liked and they wanted me to make sure that they are here so that they can see them again,”Santos Football Club official Carlton Dennis said.
He noted that players like Brian Burkett from St George’s, Ashanie Kennedy and Jaheem Johnson from Kingston College and J’havier Lynch of Jamaica College are ones who were mentioned.
The day will start with registration at 8 a.m. while football activities will get underway at 10 a.m.
The trial was slated for one day but will go two days if the turnout requires them to do so.
The showcase is mainly for schoolboys ages 16-19 with the requisite SAT scores.
“It is really for people who have subjects and have passed their SATs. If you do not have the SAT scores, then you would need to take the SAT and take it from there. They can come from anywhere as long as they have the required qualifications,” Dennis said.
He added:”But the more the merrier and that is why we wanted to have it for two days. If we do not have enough people, we will just do it on Saturday. If we have more than enough, we will select the best and then go over the process again on Sunday, so everyone gets a fair chance. There is no cost attached. This is our contribution to football. We want to try and help some youngsters to better themselves.”
Players will be asked to provide their own meals and football gear. However, bibs and refreshment will be available.
“There is no sponsorship and it would be difficult (to provide meals) without sponsorship,” Dennis stated.
The trial came about after one of Dennis’ former players at St Andrew Prep, Steven Jones, introduced him to Allan who was interested in coming to Jamaica to scout players.
He added that he hopes it can become an annual event.
“We will sit down with other coaches and work out how we can make this an annual affair with the schools, Major League Soccer and United Soccer League coaches and scouts. We want it for the long haul, so I am just urging people to support.”