The Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) player development programme, will have a new twist this year, after the local beer giant’s partnership with Nike.The American sports apparel company will send a team to conduct advance fitness and structured football training for selected players and coaches at the Barbican field in a two-day exercise starting today at 8 a.m.Now in its third year, the RSPL player development programme seeks to develop players’ off-field skills such as appearance, media training, social media skills and financial management.The two-day event will this year be split in two segments with on-the-field training for players and coaches on Friday and a seminar on Saturday.Red Stripe’s head of marketing and innovations, Blandine Paul-Reid said they are totally committed to the RSPL players’ development, which is why they have invest in this project and its continued improvement.COMMITTED TO THE LEAGUE”As we look at moving the Red Stripe Premier League to the next level, projects like this are important. Red Stripe is very dedicated to the league and the development of players,” said Paul-Reid.”Developing players has been a long journey. We have gone from a small execution at Courtleigh hotel, to bringing partners like Nike to help our players become better. Having Nike representing the players and helping them build their skills so they can make it big is probably the best development for the League,” she commented.Jamaica and Trinidad’s Nike sales representative, Michael Bookbinder, leads the three man team consisting of himself, former professional footballer and currently top Panamanian Nike coach, Eilado Mitre and head of sport marketing, Pedro Boyd.”I would like to do something positive and get them to a next level, whether in life or in their careers. I want to leave something positive so that people will talk about the event we did. We’ll see what players need to improve on, if it’s speeds, strength,” said Bookbinder.”The coaches will benefit because they are going to see new techniques they are not using now in their daily or weekly routine, and it will help them incorporate new training techniques they are not using now,” Bookbinder added.
Liverpool are emerging as serious contenders to sign Netherlands starlet Memphis Depay in the summer, talkSPORT has been told.The 21-year-old winger, who starred at the World Cup last summer, is being tipped to link up with his former national team boss Louis van Gaal at Manchester United in a £20million deal.But, according to Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan, Liverpool are poised to pip their Premier League rivals to the pacey PSV youngster’s signature.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “People think Louis van Gaal will take him, but the fact that Liverpool scouts are in Eindhoven almost every week to watch the player signals to me that Liverpool are a strong contender for the boy.”