By Ras WadadaTHE Georgetown Football Club (GFC) yesterday held a press brief at the club’s pavilion where their talented 17-year-old player Kelsey Benjamin faced the media since being released from Police custody last Friday.The Chase Academy student was being held and accused of exchanging gunfire with the Police at Stabroek Square that resulted in a woman being shot last week.Addressing the media in the presence of his parents, head teacher and General Secretary (GS) of GFC, Faizal Khan, Benjamin declared his innocence, “A lot of people have been telling me a lot of bad things, but I know to myself that I am innocent. Everywhere I go people looking at me as though I am a criminal, but I know that I am not a criminal.”Benjamin, who has been recently called to the senior National selection also shared his experience and ordeal,”Being in custody was very hard. At Diamond, I had to sleep on cold concrete in the nights, and in there is full of mosquitoes. The toilet is full of mess and smells real bad. I had three nights of that and I don’t want that experience again.“I have never been through anything like this before and it caused me to lose three days of school, so I have some catching up to do,” the soft-spoken Benjamin shared.The club’s GS Faizal Khan who worked tirelessly to free his prized player also commented his feelings on Benjamin’s innocence.“What we are keen to get across is that Kelsey is innocent. He thanked the Police for doing their job and we respect that the Police have a very difficult job to do, here, in Guyana. We thank Mr Hicken and Attorney-at-Law Mark Waldron for doing a very good job, especially in a case like this.“What’s important is that Kelsey’s side of the story is heard and that this unsavoury chain of events will not hamper this young man this minor, as he progresses and continues to try to fulfil his dreams which is to become a professional footballer.”Khan also informed that Benjamin has not been charged, but it is the desire to have the matter closed as soon as possible.Head Teacher of Chase Academy, Henry Chase, also expressed dissatisfaction with the press and the image being painted of his student,“The media’s portrayal of Kelsey is uncharacteristic of Kelsey. It is sad in this country that we destroy talent. We are not a nurturing society, instead of building people, we break people and when I look at some athletes, not Kelsey alone, because I know of an athlete who is expected to represent the country shortly and she is homeless.“We ignore our human talents. Kelsey is a national asset. Instead of trying to shoot him and kill him, we have got to find systems to help him. He is being portrayed as a villain and he is not a villain. He is a youth that just needs guidance. I often tell my children and students, this is an oppressive society and Kelsey’s case is a classic example of the type of society that we live in,” a fuming Chase stated.Chase also disclosed that the school is already making arrangements to provide professional counselling for both Kelsey and his mom.Benjamin, who is nicknamed Neymar, has been an inspiration to his school, leading them to ‘back-to-back’ titles in the Milo schools football, as the competition’s top goalscorer for the 2015 and 2016 championships and was also pivotal in the school dethroning 4-peat champions Wismar/Christianburg Secondary in the DIGICEL nationwide schools KO tournament this year. Add to that his 5 goals in the inaugural Elite League at sixteen years last season.Khan also reminded how important Benjamin is to the club, “He is a very talented player who knows he has a lot of work to do. He knows he has a team of staff and teammates who believe in him. When he was released from custody the first place he came to was GFC to see his teammates train, and everybody ran off the field and came and hugged him. That’s what he means to us. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure that this does not hang around his neck,”, Khan stated.Khan further said that the pint-size left winger has the potential to be Guyana’s best footballer of the decade.