Rochford soaks up ‘Manchester’ experience

National Under 17 midfielder John Paul Rochford is currently engaged in the biggest training stint of his career to date as he takes part in a two-week training camp at Manchester City after being selected by City scouts at a Digicel Kickstart Academy in November for Caribbean talents.

Rochford was chosen among other players including Jamaicans Akeem Robotham, Alain Skerritt and Malik Powell, Charleus Talson (Haiti), Elysee Nael Wellofky (Haiti) and Elijah Shade and Tyrell Emmanuel of T&T

“The camp is moving on quite well so far. The skill level and the intensity level is very high. The skill level is not the usual level. The ability of the guys here is very high and we are learning more everyday. It’s been quite a fulfilling experience” Rochford said on Wednesday.

“The camp is exciting because every day we are being shown new drills and learning different techniques,” he added.

An 8-year-old Rochford grabs the attention of former England captain David Beckham during a kid's clinic at the then Concacaf Centre of Excellence in 2008.
An 8-year-old Rochford grabs the attention of former England captain David Beckham during a kid’s clinic at the then Concacaf Centre of Excellence in 2008.

Rochford, a product of FC Santa Rosa, indicated that the feedback from the Manchester coaches has been positive thus far.

“The coaches have told us that they are impressed with our ability and our attitude and they’ve really made us very comfortable since we’ve been here. The experience so far has been extremely good and will definitely contribute towards my development as a player,” said Rochford of Queen’s Royal College.

Rochford was initially selected from a group of thirty players at one of the Digicel Kickstart camp at Sabina Park, Jamaica in late October.

His older brother Jean Luc was a member of the T&T Under 17 and Under 20 teams which appeared at the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Cup and the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Egypt and has the distinction of scoring in the opening game of the finals against the host nation.

Photo at top shows Rochford (third from left) with his fellow Caribbean teammates at the Manchester City Etihad Stadium