Born on 31/03/99, 17 year old Jervel Tobierre of the Desruisseaux community is currently one of the more renowned youth footballers in St. Lucia. Jervel began playing football at the age of 11 years in the community of Desruisseaux, where he captained the team to a quarter final finish in the SLFA district under 14 competition 2 years later. An all-round young sportsman, Jervel also enjoyed a short stint with the St. Lucia under 15 cricket team, as an opening batsman and received the award for best batsman at the Sandals Academy in 2013. At the time, the Academy included many current West Indies under 19 players. Jervel has always considered himself a goal achiever and when Digicel announced the Digicel Kick Start Academy, he was determined to be one of the lucky boys to selected to go to Manchester City for the 10 day stay. Jervel, a member the El Ninos FC football club of Desruisseaux under Callus Monchery, plays as a defensive midfielder for the team, who completed the first ever Desruisseaux League double, which is arguably one of the most competitive leagues in St. Lucia. Jervel who currently attends the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College is also a former attendee of the Desruisseaux Combined School and St. Marys College, where he attained 10 CXC’s. He also finished 4th in the School football where he played alongside fellow Kick Start selectee Romario Lendor.
The Digicel Kickstart Academy is a program which is being ran and sponsored by Digicel, in partnership with different football clubs. For the first 3 years, the program was ran by coaches of Chelsea FC club, and for the last two, the Manchester City Football Club. From the fifteen (15) Caribbean territories where Digicel operates, thirty (30) of the islands best players are rounded up (each individual territory has its specific way of selecting the 30) . When the 30 players are gathered there is a two day long training camp, with 4 sessions, where coaches choose the best 3 players from each territory. When the 45 players have been selected, they are all gather in one island territory- Barbados (Chelsea FC) and Jamaica ( Manchester City) where the final selection takes place. Some players (8 in 2015 and 12 in 2016) were brought to England and where they trained with Manchester City coaches and got the chance to experience what it felt like to be a professional.
From the initial clinic in St. Lucia, 3 players were chosen.
The Final 3 from St. Lucia were:
Jervel Tobierre | El Ninos FC (St. Lucia)
Romario Lendor | UWI Blackbirds FC (Barbados)
Nyrone Winter | Knights FC (St. Lucia)
Nyrone winter is not a new name to Sporte Avis. We caught up with him late last year SEE STORY HERE.
During June of last year the final 3 selectees from St. Lucia flew out to Jamaica for 4 days of intense football training sessions, which were carried out by Manchester city coaches. The 3 selectees from St. Lucia ( Nyrone Winter, Jervel Tobierre and Romario Lendor) joined the Selectees of St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, El Salvador, Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis. These players included many national team players, some of whom had already represented their senior teams.
The level of the players at the academy was high. “Romario, Nyrone and myself were in a group of 14 where 10 of the final 12 guys were chosen, I believe that the coaches did this intentionally to get the best out of the players of a higher level” recalls Jervel Tobierre, who was one of the lucky young players to make the final cut.
“Comparing our level to the players, I would say that we were right on par with the best players in the Caribbean, in our age group, regardless of the facilities and the experiences they’ve had and given that some of them played with professional clubs and toured regularly”
“In comparison with guys in England- we played the under 16 academy team and a college under 18 team we won both games and we gaged well with the players.”
Jervel found that the experience was good for him and reminded him that his life goal of being a professional footballer is realistic and that he is more than capable of achieving this goal. Being in a professional environment also taught him the essentials and the other small details to assist him in keeping his dream alive. Tobierre insisted that he put in a lot of effort and believes that he reaped rewards- but he knows that being in the final 12 was not the destination for him, but more of a pit stop on his long and hard journey to becoming a professional.
Jervel revealed that the lower temperatures affected them in the earlier sessions but as time progressed, it became an afterthought.
During their time in England, Jervel and Nyrone got a chance to see many professionals, including Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Barcary Sagna and their favourite Raheem Sterling, who left his signature and a follow on Instagram.
Raheem left a few words on inspiration for the boys “Believe in yourself, Dream Big”. Might sound a bit cliché, but hearing it from a professional in person, was all the motivation he needed to keep pushing.
Empowered by his experiences over the last year, Jervel is committed to making the most of his talents. He remains focused and grounded, and he realizes that success will only come through dedication and hard work.
Sporte Avis congratulates Jervel on his accomplishments so far, and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours. We will continue to provide you with updates on the progress on this talented young man.
Written by: Romario Lendor | Sporte Avis