St George’s college are set to lose one of their best players, as Cardel Benbow is poised to depart the island for Philadelphia.
The 18-year-old was expected to be one of St George’s
key players as they seek their 23rd hold on the symbol of urban area
schoolboy football supremacy.
Benbow, who represented Jamaica in 2011 at the under-17 World Cup, is now set to join an academy which is affiliated to a Philadelphia-based MLS team.
The attacking midfielder brings to ten the number of starters
from last season that St George’s have lost mainly due to scholarships.
Philadelphia-based club is interested in securing Bendow’s services on a
permanent basis. Persons close to the youngster were, however, said to
be sceptical due to the strict National Collegiate Athletic Association
rules which states that if a player plays professionally he cannot get a
scholarship. The concern arose in case the move falls through and
Benbow is forced to return to the island and then finds himself in a
position where he cannot get a scholarship to a university having played
The head of academy has, however, given assurances that it is definitely an amateur programme.
The St George’s star man netted ten goals last year; including
two in the semi-final match against Wolmer’s, as he helped the ‘light
blues’ to the Manning and Olivier Shield double.
Benbow, who moved to St George’s in 2009 from Waterford High and
sat out the 2010 competition, won five trophies during his time there –
two Manning Cups, two Olivier Shields and one Walker Cup.
The fifth-form student had also got off to a flying start this
year in the Manning Cup, as he scored two goals in Saturday’s opening
game against Camperdown to earn a 2-2 draw for St George’s.
The Neville Bell-coached St George’s will play their second game
of the season away to Oberlin today at Golden Spring Field, but Benbow
will play from the bench if he is available for the fixture.
Bell, though not able to speak to exactly when the player will leave, was able to confirm his impending departure.
“I don’t know exactly when he will leave, but I am happy that
something seems to be happening for him,” Bell said. “Though I will miss
him, I am very, very happy for him.”