– Newsday, May 8th 2017
Belmont native Che Benny,a national under 17 midfielder and Antiguan Ronaldo Flowers were named the most outstanding footballers of the Flow Ultimate Football Experience finals held on the weekend at President’s Ground. St Ann’s. Benny, 16 and Flowers, 14, will head to England in a couple weeks where they will tour the world famous Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, meet United legends and see the Red Devils tackle Crystal Palace in their final league game of the season.
Benny and Flowers beat 28 other finalists who were tested over the weekend by Manchester United Soccer School coaches Mike Neary and William Miller who were joined yesterday by United legend and national Sports Ambassador Dwight Yorke.
Benny, a classy midfielder, known for his dead-ball delivery and ability to use both feet, impressed not only Yorke and the Manchester United coaches but turned the heads of other Caribbean coaches present including Jamaican Albert Burkett who said he was sure he would be picked.
Speaking to the media after he was named among the top two, Benny declared: “Dreams come true, Manchester’s my side man.
That was my dream to go and support (United midfielder Paul) Pogba and them…I expect to go there and see good players play, Paul Pogba there and Juan Mata my favourite players and hope I get to touch him and get a training session with them.” Benny, a student of St Anthony’s College, admitted the weekend’s drills and games were difficult but said he just had to step up and fight for his country.
It was clear to all that it was no weekend vacation for the 30 youngsters in the finals with cotton helping clot the bloody nose of Flowers, players limping prodigiously and a weary look on some players’ faces.
Yorke reminded the aspiring footballers that nothing will be achieved without hard work. The former national captain, speaking prior to the announcement of the winners, urged the youngsters who were not selected to not give up on their football dream despite being obviously disappointed.
“We know today was a bit difficult for some of you, we’ve seen some of the players walking around hobbling. But that’s why it’s called the Flow Ultimate (Experience). It means you’ve been tested in all departments of the game…This is not going to be easy. It’s never going to be easy for anyone but if you have the desire and the determination to succeed no matter where you come from, you can do it,” he said.
York congratulated all the footballers for making the finals and commended them on their overall demeanour to the weekend’s activities and challenges.
“I love the attitude of the players.
It’s been very challenging, I know the pitch wasn’t great for you guys but you got on and didn’t moan about it…I have to say looking from the outside, you did yourself very proud and not just yourself but your family and the country that you represent,” he added.
Sports Minister Darryl Smith congratulated Flow for their vision in hosting the venture, saying that they’ve seen the future of the region and have invested in it.
He urged the young footballers to take all they’ve learned over the weekend and use it to continue improving and also share their knowledge with their peers.