Former Belgian International and FC Koln winger turned players’ agent, Roger Van Gool will spend his short trip to Jamaica looking at what the country has to offer in terms of talent.
Van Gool will be scouting talent at organized games between Arnette Gardens and Phoenix All Star Football Academy on Friday April 4 at the Anthony Spauldings Sports Complex at 4:00pm. The team, comprised of Roger Van Gool and Suliman Ziylan, will then travel to Clarendon on Saturday April 5, to view an invitational game between a combined youth team from Sporting Central Academy and Humble Lion FC versus the Phoenix Academy at 10:00am. Finally they will make their way to Jake’s Treasure Beach where they will look at youngsters from the Dacosta Cup ranks in an invitational game which starts at 4:00pm. They will also be watching the Premier League game between Arnette Gardens and Humble Lion FC on Sunday April 6.
Suliman Ziylan and Roger Van Gool operate the I Football Management Agency, based in Belgium, which represents the young players from the Phoenix All Star Football Academy such as Kyle and Leon Butler. Both Kyle and Leon will be joining Ajax for the start of next season with Leon set to join the first team training squad and Kyle set to join the U-19 squad. Van Gool has also managed to confirm trials for other players at clubs in Poland and Slovakia. The players scheduled to go on trial are, Ashani Oliphant, Travis Blagrove, Romario McKnight, Ricardo Martin and Rayland Paesley all of Phoenix All Star Football Academy. They will also be joined by Humble Lion winger Jermaine Christian.
Van Gool is hoping to uncover more of the talent which he saw when the Phoenix Academy youngsters made their initial trip to Europe.
Roger Van Gool speaking at the Press
Conference regarding his visit at The
Jamaica Pegasus Polo Lounge on
Thursday April 3.
“We are here because of what we saw in Leon and Kyle and the other players of Phoenix Football Academy. They managed to attract our interest and now we hope to find more players like them or better who we can then work with and through our contacts get them opportunities at clubs across Europe.”
The team of experienced football agents is hoping to see players between 16 and 18 who have not just the right skill level but attitude and motivation. Van Gool explains that when a player is between those ages he is judged by the coaches in comparison to other players who are that age, as opposed to the players in the first team if the player was older.
“It is easier for the 16-18 year old player to get into the system as they will be assessed with their peers. When they are older they are assessed with the senior first team and this can be difficult for them to get into the team then.” States, Van Gool.
Though it is easier for the younger players, Van Gool also assures of opportunities for older players as well outside of mainstream Europe. Through that route they will join a first team where they will play and gain exposure and experience, making the transition to a mainstream European league easier.
Through I Football Management Agency Roger Van Gool and Suliman Ziylan are currently agents for several players across Europe including Lille’s Abdoulay Diaby and on loan West Bromwich Albion midfielder Morgan Amalfitano.
Roger Van Gool and Suliman Ziylan will be scouting for players during their short introductory trip to Jamaican. The men however, have expressed that if they do see what they want of players’ ability and attitude then trips like these will become more frequent and allow improved opportunities for Jamaican footballers.