MBU targets 2019 U-17 World Cup
PREMIER League outfit Montego Bay United have entered into an arrangement with United States-based Valeo FC Football Academy with a view to quickly developing gifted young players for the international market.
The programme is designed to facilitate all age groups both male and female and will feature youngsters for Under-8, U-10, U-12 and U-14, according to MBU chairman and owner Orville Powell.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the two entities two weeks ago, completing six months of negotiations and planning for what will be known as the MBU-Valeo FC Academy.
"We have been in discussions since June. We are moving forward now, looking at a four-year arrangement that will take us into 2019," said Powell.
"They will be responsible for the entire coaching staff, administration staff for the Academy and the competition's committee. We are providing the facility for them and additional administrative support where needed," Powell added of the Boston-based Valeo.
Powell told STAR Sports that the fundamental reason for the new approach was to initiate training for players aged 8-15 at an elite level with the 2019 Under 17 World Cup in mind.
"We hope to have most of these youngsters feature in that World Cup, so we will be training them for that target," he said.
As part of their training, they will take part in several futsal competitions, as well as playing in community leagues, prep/primary school leagues to engage the communities to identify these talented players who will then be absorbed into the elite programme.
"The elite programme will have a squad of 20 players on the training field four times per week, for each age-group," Powell said.
"This is the way to go if we are serious about moving football forward and MBU once again is leading the way with innovative plans for the development of the local football," Powell said.