From April 3 to 16, 34 young Jamaican football players between the ages of 12 and 16 are staying at the Watersley Sports & Talentpark in Sittard. The link between Jamaica and South Limburg is easy, but just as remarkable; Eric Rademakers, who grew up in Sittard-Geleen, is the owner of Kingston Football Academy.
Rademakers played football himself for 18 years for FC Geleen-Zuid before leaving for Miami for work in the hospitality industry and eventually ending up in Jamaica. In Jamaica, he is an assistant coach for Arnett Gardens, the current leader in the Jamaican top football league. In addition, he is an analyst for Jamaican television for Champions League and World Cup matches.
In 2017, he founded his own football school together with a partner; Kingston Football Academy. They now have 240 members divided over 15 teams. With a selection of the best players, they came to Europe last year to compete against their peers. In 2022, they won against teams such as Roda JC, Fortuna Sittard, and Alemannia Aachen. This year, matches are scheduled against teams such as PSV, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Roda JC, and VVV Venlo. In addition, they will participate in an international tournament in North Brabant.
Their home base during this period, just like last year, is the Watersley Sports & Talentpark in Sittard, Rademakers' home ground. "Last year was extremely well received; the accommodations, catering, and all the prerequisites for top athletes are excellent. We receive information about sports nutrition and massages, sports meals, and all the space we need to facilitate the boys as top athletes. It is therefore the most suitable location for us to fully focus on football during the period we are here."