Charlton Athletic are delighted to announce a partnership with leading Jamaican football academy Mount Pleasant, with the long-term aim of further improving the quantity of elite players graduating from the Addicks' esteemed academy.
The Mount Pleasant Academy (MPA) is a charitable organisation offering talented children from throughout the Caribbean region fully-funded boarding school scholarships. Mount Pleasant’s first team are the current Jamaica Premier League champions and the club has also provided two members of the current Reggae Boyz squad, as have the Addicks in Michael Hector and Karoy Anderson.
The 'Mountain to Valley Partnership’ will provide a clear pathway to playing professional football in London for talented, young Caribbean footballers, whilst allowing Mount Pleasant to benefit from the knowledge, experience and expertise of Charlton's academy.
Non-Executive Director Paul Elliott CBE MBE, a Charlton academy graduate who himself has Jamaican roots, said: “This long-term, strategic partnership will allow Charlton to dramatically increase the talent pool our brilliant academy is able to draw from. A lot of Charlton’s most successful homegrown players of the last 50 years have been of Jamaican origin - including many in the current team - so there is also a really good cultural fit.”
Owner of Mount Pleasant, Peter Gould, commented that “This Memorandum of Understanding is a symbol of the solid partnership and mutual commitment to the development of football talent in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. This will help move regional football forward as young athletes will get an opportunity to hone their skills and develop their talents outside of the region.”
As Mount Pleasant continues to showcase its unique blend of football and academics, Sporting Director Paul Christie noted that: “Mount Pleasant is already fortunate enough to attract many of the very best young players from throughout the Caribbean. Our belief is that this partnership with such a renowned London club will make us even more of an attractive proposition for talent. Charlton and Mount Pleasant have long-standing connections at many levels, from our respective ownerships to directors to coaching staff, so we are going to be building on firm foundations.”
Charlton’s academy was ranked eighth in England as of 2022 and long-standing Academy Director Steve Avory added: “Quality recruitment is key to a successful academy. Our recruitment of talented players in the immediate Charlton catchment area has been a key factor in our success and youth development over so many years. It all starts with talent ID.
“The Mount Pleasant partnership is an interesting, potentially fruitful, link outside of our south and east London focus and I know Bert Dawkins [Academy Recruitment Manager], who has been over to Jamaica to visit Mount Pleasant, is very positive about the possibilities with player recruitment from an emergent CONCACAF academy programme.”
As part of the various commitments underpinning the partnership, Charlton’s young players will take part in an annual youth tournament at Mount Pleasant’s campus, while the Addicks will host Mount Pleasant’s senior side in an annual pre-season charity match at The Valley.