Opportunities for Bajan footballers
Jomo Harris of the UWI Blackbirds and Romario Harewood of the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme have been selected to participate in the third consecutive Caribbean Football Union/Major League Soccer Combine to be held in Martinique between January 1 and 4.
Unlike previous years, this third installment is being held in three different countries with 24 players being invited to participate at each venue. The other two countries were St Kitts (December 13-16) and Curacao (December 17-20).
The events sponsored by the MLS in partnership with the CFU, feature elite-level players invited from around the Caribbean between ages 18-21, who will compete in front of League scouts for an opportunity to earn an invitation to the annual Adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, between January 8 and 13.
The CFU president Gordon Derrick said the main reason for decentralizing the initiative is to increase participation and opportunity. “We are grateful to our partners at the MLS who were receptive to our proposal to hold the Combine in more than one venue. This will allow a greater number of Caribbean players to attend and to have the chance to gain selection to the South Florida Combine where they will be seen by pro scouts,” Derrick said.
Under the expanded arrangement, member associations are responsible for airfare while the MLS will absorb all other costs.
The Barbados Football Association’s general secretary Edwin Wood expressed satisfaction with the initiative.
“We at the BFA are working extremely hard to improve the game in Barbados and to offer additional exposure to our national and premier league players, with the hope that some of them can go on to play in professional leagues overseas. This initiative offers a stepping stone for such and we are always pleased when we can nominate players to participate,” Wood said.