PFJL and Malta team up on Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme

By Sports Desk May 11, 2024
From left: Arnett Gardens’ Daniel Walker, Waterhouse’s Demario Francis, Brand Manager of Malta, Jodi-Ann Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Football Jamaica Ltd, Owen Hill, Harbour View’s, Kevin Hall, and Portmore United’s Jeaquan Campbell pose for a photo at the launch of the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme. at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence yesterday. From left: Arnett Gardens’ Daniel Walker, Waterhouse’s Demario Francis, Brand Manager of Malta, Jodi-Ann Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Football Jamaica Ltd, Owen Hill, Harbour View’s, Kevin Hall, and Portmore United’s Jeaquan Campbell pose for a photo at the launch of the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme. at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence yesterday.

The Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) has collaborated with Malta to introduce the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme, a junior-level training initiative offering opportunities for young talents to further ignite passion for the sport and channel true Jamaican energy.

Targeting youths under seventeen years of age, this programme aims to provide a pathway for young players to progress into local, international or regional clubs and academies. The announcement was made on Wednesday, May 8, during the official media launch at the JFF Captain Horace Burrell Center of Excellence at The University of the West Indies. 

In his remarks, CEO of the PFJL, Owen Hill, expressed, “We are excited about the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme prospects and look forward to developing our local talent and, by extension, allowing the players to be globally adaptable. To our partner Malta, we salute you for stepping up to the plate, believing in us and most importantly, believing in our youth. The team at Professional Football Jamaica Limited promises you that we will make this programme worth your while. On behalf of the PFJL board of directors and management, I thank you for being here and for your continued support as we continue to raise the bar.” 

Through this programme, clubs will have the opportunity to participate using their best junior players between the ages of 15 to 17 and will involve four Premier League Clubs:  Arnett Gardens, Waterhouse, Portmore United, and Harbour View.

PFJL, in collaboration with these clubs, will administer three football festivals where teams will compete in an equitable format to determine the champions on the day. The games will follow traditional football competition rules and will be hosted over three consecutive months, starting on May 25 and ending on July 27, where the teams will compete against each other. 

The Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme aims to take a multifaceted approach by not only developing the technical skills and abilities of Jamaica’s youth footballers but also strengthen the local capacity for elite youth coaches through mandatory coaching education and football education. Coaches are required to be enrolled in a B Licensed Programme or higher to ensure that players are trained effectively. Moreover, individual clubs and player development plans will be implemented with structured coaching education. 

"We are happy to partner with Professional Football Jamaica Limited for the launch of the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme, which is a part of our pilot programme, Malta Sparks. Through this campaign, we aim to bring local caregivers together, energise them, celebrate with them, strengthen their bonds within the community, and foster a profound sense of belonging. In collaboration with PFJL, we have a lineup of impactful workshops led by experts to equip players and their parents/guardians with the essential tools to improve their personal and social development skills. We look forward to the success stories and opportunities that will unfold for the talented young footballers participating in the Elite Under-17 Development Football Programme,” expressed Malta Brand Manager, Jodi-Ann Campbell.

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