Downey, Greaves pursuing dreams

Young Barbadian footballers who are currently on trials in England are dreaming of playing in that country’s premier league.

Last month four youth footballers from various clubs accross the island, travelled to the United Kingdom to participate in trials with a number of British clubs.

Elijah Downey (left) in action in the Digicel Premier League for Paradise FC.
Elijah Downey (left) in action in the Digicel Premier League for Paradise FC.

Originally the boys were leaving the island with the expectations of staying in England for six weeks with South London club Crystal Palace but their coaches were so impressed in training that the boys were offered extensions.

17-year-old Elijah Downey described his experience in England so far as a dream come true.

“We impressed a lot of the coaches at various clubs and the possibility of us being signed is very high. I’m really enjoying it, we are a couple steps away from where we want to be.”

Downey said although he was away from home and the Barbadian football environment, he found adjusting to English football and their style of play easy and added he wished the sport was taken as seriously in Barbados as it was in England.

“I’ve been here long enough to adapt to English football, it’s nice and I’m enjoying it. It’s a big difference from Barbados, they take football very seriously in terms of training and are very punctual and organized.”

He had all intentions of playing with Crystal Palace but while playing a practice match league one club Carlton Athletic became interested in him.  Downey told Barbados TODAY he was currently on the injured list for up to four weeks but was still optimistic that he would join the club and later improve and play in the premier league.

“After the trials I’m looking to sign with Charlton and then play the season with them and be offered a contract at a premier league club.” 

Downey believes that he being on trial is a way to put football in Barbados on the map and to expose more players like himself. 

“If we keep showcasing our talent and working hard, that will open more gates for Barbados especially. I think that us four making it big and doing the right things will have more coaches interested in what football is in Barbados and open more avenues for Barbadian players.”

Antoine Greaves is also happy for the chance to go play football in England and said he knew an opportunity like this would come his way.

Antoine Greaves (centre) playing in the Premier League.
Antoine Greaves (centre) playing in the Premier League.

“I always wanted this chance to go over to England and train with a pro academy. It was always in my heart because I knew once I got that opportunity I would take it, this is golden and on this trial I would do my best and put my best foot forward,” Greaves said.

The 16-year-old maintained that he was very focused on achieving success and he expected that at the end of the trial to be offered a contract. 

Source: Anmar Goodridge-Boyce

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