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IMG Academy trainee, Craig Bellamy, helps Cardiff City to their first promotion into the Premier League

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Craig Bellamy speaking to IMG Academy student-athletes.

In November of last year, Welsh soccer star Craig Bellamy, came to IMG Academy to nurse some minor injuries and get back to game shape. He also took time to speak to IMG Academy’s soccer program. He had recently been traded from Manchester City to his boyhood club, Cardiff City, and was expected to help in their push for promotion into the Premier League.

On April 16, Bellamy helped Cardiff City draw Charlton Athletic and secure one of two automatic berths into the Premier League. This was the first time in 53 years the club was in top flight soccer, but the first time since the formation of the Premier League. The fans rushed the pitch with tears in their eyes, as they realized a dream had come true.

Promotion into the Premier League is more than just playing against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. Adam Bull, consultant at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, told English news source, The Sun, that clubs will earn an extra £90m for gaining promotion in the Premiership. The city of Cardiff will also reap some benefits of promotion, with estimates that as many as 5,000 jobs will be created. Last season, Swansea City’s first season in the Premier League was estimated to be worth £58m to the city.

Craig Bellamy has won the FA Community Shield and been an UEFA Champions League runner up, but nothing will compare to bringing his hometown team and city, promotion into the the English Premier League.