NCB contributes $3m to U-20 football programme

May 21, 2016
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer Patrick Hylton (left), group managing director of National Commercial Bank with a team jersey after handing over a sponsorship cheque for $3 million to head coach of the Jamaica Under-20 team, Ricardo Gardener (right), at the Jamaica Football Federation's head office in New Kingston yesterday.

National Commercial Bank (NCB) has contributed $3 million to the national under-20 football programme. The money will be used to prepare the under-20 footballers for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifier to be played in the Dominican Republic from June 15-19.

Speaking at the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) headquarters in New Kingston yesterday, NCB Group's managing director Patrick Hylton said his company believes it is important to support youth development.

"We have four areas education, youth development, community development, and sports - that we contribute towards. There is a process for development, so we think it is important to support the youngsters," Hylton said.

JFF's general secretary Raymond Grant, while appreciative of NCB's contribution, said that the budget to prepare the team for the CFU Under-20 tournament stands at $10 million.

"Preparation of the team is running up to $10 million. However, the JFF has its role to play. We are closing the gap, and the team will also benefit from the recent Digicel sponsorship," Grant disclosed.

Head coach of the team Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardner said the sponsorship would definitely motivate the group towards its goal: that of qualifying for next year's Under-20 FIFA World Cup.

"I remember the day we went in to see Mr Hylton. He didn't hesitate," Gardner disclosed. "With the support, we will get there in 2017. It will take hard work and dedication, and we think the youngsters are gifted and moving to a professional level. They have the talent to achieve and NCB believes in the youngsters," the former Reggae Boyz captain said.