Tue, Jun

Former Trinidad and Tobago and English-based midfielder Clint Marcelle is putting his efforts into establishing a football academy in this country as his way of giving back to his homeland following his years as a professional footballer.

This was the revelation made by the former Barnsley man as he closed the Clint Marcelle Football Academy Easter coaching camp at Fatima Grounds on Thursday.

Marcelle had some fifty youngsters attend the camp, which was supported by Prestige Holdings and British American Insurance and had the likes of World Cup team members Cornell Glen and Atiba Charles as well as W Connection and St Lucian captain Earl Jean.  A couple of the coaches assisting Marcelle were Earnest Ferdinand and Patrick Nash out of Murucapo Senior Comprehensive.

“From the start it has been exceptional. We have kids from all backgrounds. Some can play and some can’t play but we are trying to bring them all together and create an awareness not only for football but sports in general and what it can do for you as a person,” the 38-year-old Marcelle told TTFF Media.

“We have kids from single families and we are trying to build a family here. We want to show them that it’s not about winning but also about fun and enjoyment. It’s not only about getting big contracts as a professional. I have made it known to them that not everyone can become a professional. We are doing a program for the next four months on the basics of the game. This is what we need to improve in our football,” added the former Grimsby Town midfielder.

He added the academy will go into full drive from June and former T&T captain and Falkirk favourite Russell Latapy is the academy’s main advisor. The “Little Magician” was quietly in the country last week and spent a day with the kids.

“Initially our idea was always to have an academy which we will start in June but now we are gathering the youngsters.

“Our advisor is Russell Latapy and he has a major part to play in this academy.

“I want to give back to the country and the kids and parents who have supported me throughout my career, This is my opportunity to share what I have learnt abroad. We need to realize more that there are opportunities in sport once you are determined to work hard and you have that belief,” added the ex-Portugal-based player.

Adding that he has established contacts in the USA for potential scholarship awards, as well as with clubs in Portugal, England and Brazil which can assist the academy, Marcelle said he has hopes of seeing T&T football lifted or for there to be a proper follow through on the success gained at the 2006 World Cup.

“My aspirations are to se local football move up The game is not being advertised well enough… the stadiums are empty and it is not attractive enough. I hope I can play a part. Like Russell I have done my coaching courses from ‘A’ License right down.I have coached at  Scarborough and at Grimsby  where I was in charge of the Reserves and it was a great experience. Now it’s time to make a contribution to the game here,” Marcelle concluded.