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Jamaican schoolboys to tackle Stoke City Academy

PICTURED: Ricardo Fuller

RICARDO FULLER is the man responsible behind seven up-and-coming Jamaican schoolboys about to spend this week training at Stoke City's academy.

Former Jamaican International striker Fuller, who is an ambassador of the Caribbean phone carrier Digicel, has arranged with his former club Stoke to give the youngsters a taste of the sport in England.

They kick-off their week today (Mar 25) as part of Digicel's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association's #ISSArealGoal campaign with Norman Campbell (Jamaica College), Giovanni Laing (Camperdown), Shevan McDonald (Cornwall College), Trayvonne Reid (Kingston College), Emelio Rosseau (St George's College), Chantamoi Taylor (St George's College) and Lamar Walker (Clarendon College) eager to hone their silky skills.

Kingston-born Fuller, who last represented Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in 2012, earlier this year came out of retirement to play non-league football In England for Nantwich Town.

And the 39-year old, a former Premier League star who bagged 50 goals for Stoke between 2006 and 2012, was part of Jamaica's unsuccessful World Cup Qualifying campaigns in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Fuller kicked off his career at Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica's Red Stripe Premier League 20 years ago and is hoping that at least one of these seven schoolboys could follow in his footsteps to play professionally in England.

He became a journeyman in the English game, representing Preston North End, Portsmouth, Southampton and Ipswich Town before clicking at Stoke where be became a cult figure.

Digicel's regional communications manager Elon Parkinson is accompanying these seven players on their trip from Montego Bay to Stoke, and appears to have brought some Jamaican sunshine to the North of England since they arrived.

And these talented youngsters have set a goal to shine at Stoke, the second oldest professional football club in the world (formed in 1893 after Notts County).

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