Chelsea, Arsenal, and Philadelphia Union to Tackle Player Development at the Soccerex Americas Forum

By iSportconnect | October 14, 2014

Soccerex is delighted to announce that a panel discussing how potential talent can be channelled into soccer across the continent will be hosting a presentation titled ‘Changing Soccer’s Status Quo’ on the final afternoon of the Americas Forum, there 21st-22nd October, impotent that is taking place at the renowned Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados.

The discussion will look at the way in which talented youngster across the continent can be channelled into soccer in a way that ensures youngsters from all corners of the Americas will receive the motivation and opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The panel, consisting of Head of International Coaching at Chelsea FC Dermot Drummy Director of Philadelphia Union Academy Tommy Wilson, Arsenal FC scout Danny Karbassiyoon and Chelsea FC legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, will focus on the decisions made by young athletes when choosing a career in sport.

In a continent where sports such as athletics, American football, baseball, basketball and cricket are traditionally more popular the panel will look at what measures need to be taken to increase the number of young soccer players turning professional.

A former Arsenal youth coach, Drummy became Manager of the Chelsea Academy in January 2009 and, in his second year in charge, led the academy to victory in the 2009/10 FA Youth.

After an impressive stint as youth team coach, Drummy was appointed Reserve Team manager and guided his youngsters to the league title before becoming Head of International Coaching in June 2014. 

Drummy will be discussing the work he has done as part of Chelsea’s partnership with their Super Clubs network in the US, an initiative that will see Drummy work with over 90 coaches to enhance the skills that are being passed down to young players.

Having been appointed the role of Football development officer for the Scottish FA in 1994, Wilson has over 20 years of experience in the development of young footballers.

He joined Rangers as Technical Director for player development in 2006, a position he combined with his role as Scotland U20 manager, and in 2008 became reserve team coach.

Wilson has since taken his knowledge to the US where he is Academy Director at Philadelphia Union and will provide an insight into the measures being taken to increase production of young talent throughout the continent following his side’s acquisition of Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake, who was selected as number one in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.

Karbassiyoon moved to Arsenal as a 19 year old and infamously scored on debut against Manchester City.

Still at the club, the American now works as a scout across the Americas region and has been credited for scouting the talents of World Cup superstar Joel Campbell and German-born Gedion Zelalem. 

Karbassiyoon will bring expertise on grass roots youth development and a detailed knowledge of football across the continent to what promises to be a great debate.

Having starred for Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and the Dutch national team, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s power and precision, that saw him amass over 200 career goals, ensured that he will always be remembered as a fan’s favourite for those he represented.

Since retiring, Hasselbaink has turned his hand to management, earning his UEFA ‘A’ coaching license and taking charge of Royal Antwerp for the 2013/2014 season.

Hasselbaink is one of many Dutch national players to have been born in Suriname and credits football for helping him escape the civil unrest that he experienced when growing up.

Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie commented: “We are delighted to welcome four high profile names to address the forum on the issue of player development throughout the continent.  There is a real depth of knowledge and experience across the panel and the presentation promises to be a very interesting feature at the Forum.”

Drummy, Wilson, Karbassiyoon and Hasselbaink are the latest leaders confirmed to speak at the Americas Forum with high profile names such as CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, MLS Medical Coordinator John Gallucci and FIFA & CONCACAF ExCo member Sonia Bien-Anne joining former Manchester United and England legend Bryan Robson amongst many others.

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