PARAMARIBO, Suriname — The young footballers who took part in the third leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics at the Franklin Essed Stadium in Suriname, have collectively agreed that the clinic was not only a success for them as individuals, but as a country.
The Surinamese players – who are an experienced bunch of national players having represented their country at the under-15 and in some cases at the under-17 levels – agreed that Digicel and John Barnes have given them an experience that will last them a lifetime.
Four of the players spoke about their experiences:
Albert Mervill Nibte has captained the national team twice and has been vice captain on one other occasion. The 16 year old midfielder is a prominent starter with one of the country’s leading Club’s, Leo Victor, at the under-16 and 20 levels. He represented his country in Trinidad & Tobago and French Guiana last year.
“Having John Barnes coach me over the last two days has been a fantastic experience. What stands out is that Mr. Barnes stops and ensures you got the drill right whenever you went wrong – he has a lot of patience.”
Nibte stressed that Digicel was doing something great by giving youth players the opportunity to train with an international coach.
Bruce Julianto Diporedjo is a midfielder with Robin Hood Football Club – another top side in the country.
Like his captain, Diporedjo has represented Suriname at the under-15 level in Trinidad & Tobago and French Guiana.
“Training with Barnes has been good for me and I will take many things from it. It was a pleasure to be a part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics and I will always remember having this opportunity.”
Ruiz Dillon Kromoredjo is a midfielder with the Robinhood Football Club. He echoed the same comments as his fellow players, adding that the training will help to shape their minds as they contemplate a career as professional footballers.
Kromoredjo said he played against the Digicel Kick Start Clinic under-20 team last year with his club, Robin Hood.
“Being a part of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics this year will contribute to my own development as well as the other young players who participated.”
Commenting on the Head Coach, John Barnes, Kromoredjo had this to say, “Personally, I think Barnes is a very good person and an equally good coach. He gives you great advice and gives excellent examples – he makes you feel good as a player.”
Yekini Dimitrie Apai is a striker with Transvaal Football Club and said the experience of having a coach of John Barnes’ stature work with them was encouraging for him as a young player.
He showered praise on Barnes and Digicel and was confident that their efforts will bear fruits in the future. “They should be proud of what they are doing.”
All of the footballers are hopeful of the chance to go to Sunderland AFC for the one week training stint in September.