Another chance!

Another chance!

Norman Campbell impresses against Cardiff City during one-week trial at Stoke City

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Former Jamaica College (JC) Manning Cup football star player Norman Campbell is currently on a one-week trial with the Under-23s at English Championship club Stoke City.

Campbell was one of seven schoolboys who won a trip to Stoke in March as part of the Digicel's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association's #ISSArealGoal campaign.

The youngster won a number of titles at JC, including three Manning Cup crowns between 2015 and 2017. A Liguanea United player, Campbell is now on loan at Harbour View Football Club.

The pacy and skilful 19-year-old left the island last Friday with Digicel Ambassador Ricardo Fuller, a former Jamaica and Stoke City player who couldn't hide his joy for the player's second chance at trying to impress the coaches with the hope of securing a contract.

“I am absolutely very elated and over the moon. Very happy about Norman Campbell's selection by Stoke City on a proper trial, which will involve two proper games,” said Fuller, who played for Stoke City between 2006 and 2012 scoring 43 goals from 182 appearances.

“I wish him all the best and really hope he does himself proud and represent the Digicel banner as well. I am really proud for his family and Jamaica, as well,” said Fuller.

“I would be extra-proud if he has a successful trial and is signed by the club; that would make me proud as an ambassador for the Digicel programme,” he added.

In fact, Campbell was involved in a practice game against Cardiff City FC yesterday and Fuller believes he impressed in the time spent on the pitch.

“He did very well today [yesterday] with the minutes he got. He was sharp, bright and full of energy and looks very hungry, as if he wants it more than the others, and that's great to see.”

It is understood that Stoke's Under-23s will next be in action at their ground on Saturday against Birmingham City.

Campbell, along with Lamar Walker of all-island champions Clarendon College; Trayvonne Reid of Manning Cup champions Kingston College; the St George's College pair of Chantamoi Taylor and Emelio Rousseau; Giovanni Laing of Camperdown; and Shevan McDonald of Cornwall College were selected in March following outstanding displays throughout the last schoolboy football season.

Elon Parkinson, Digicel's group head of public relations, was also happy with Campbell's second bite at the cherry at Stoke City.

“We are very proud of Norman for earning another opportunity to return and demonstrate his amazing talent in the game of football,” said Parkinson.

“It is clear that the coaches were impressed with his performance during the training and mentoring sessions he attended at Stoke City in March with six other schoolboy football standouts. Moments and opportunities like these reaffirm our commitment to the development of young football talent,” he added.

“We truly appreciated the efforts of our 2018 Schoolboy Football ambassador and Stoke City legend Ricardo Fuller, who has been instrumental in helping to make this happen,” said Parkinson.

Stoke were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888. The team competes in the Championship, the second tier of English League football.

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