Head Coach of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Russell Latapy is thrilled national striker Niall Reid-Stephen has signed with the Chicago State University.
“I am totally delighted for him. I think what we’re trying to achieve is to make better football players and get results obviously. But we’re also trying to develop young men as well to become useful and good members of society, important members of society. They have the spotlight on them as national footballers so we want them to set a good example.
“I think definitely in Niall having this opportunity to go and further his education and do something like this through football is definitely what we want for our young players. Let’s hope this is just the start, and we can have more of our young football players having an opportunity, not only to further their footballing careers but to further their education and have a fantastic life which their families can also benefit from,” he said.
Reid-Stephen was called up to the senior squad at age 16 but made his debut two years later. He has made over 20 appearances for the Blackbirds and netted 19 goals in the BFA’s Premier League. A former product of the St Leonard’s Boys’ School and the University of the West Indies Blackbirds, he said he chose Chicago State because of the opportunity.
“I had a few schools that showed interest, but after my mom and I met with coach Banks, the plan he presented for me, and the direction in which the program at Chicago State is going, I felt at home. I'm looking forward to start this program with Coach Banks and the rest of the team,” he said in a post via the University’s website.
The forward recently traveled to the Dominican Republic where the senior men took on Panama and Anguilla in the first leg of their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Felix Sanchez Stadium. He made his starting debut against Panama and was a reserve against Anguilla.
Head Coach at Chicago State described Reid-Stephen as a special player and said he was thrilled to have him ignite the program.
"He's had an exciting youth career, and I believe all of his tools will translate to our level with ease. Coach [Russell] Latapy and coach [Fabian] Massiah have both done a great job developing and preparing Niall for the next step in his career. My staff and I are looking forward to working with Niall,” Banks said.