I wonder if the KPL Under-19 tournament which kicked off on Monday will be looked back upon as one which had positive influence on our youth soccer. I wonder if it’s necessarily a good thing to everyone? There have been undeniably some positives on previous such showpiece but they’ve been to individuals. Sofapaka’s Enock Agwanda is one beneficiary of such but his fellow youths back then at Sony haven’t been hitting the football newsrooms as we would expect.
The question that lingers across the minds of the football faithfuls in the country is if this is the best option in identifying talents who we will depend on in future assignment. In the recent past, our seniors, The Harambee Stars, have failed to advance to respectable levels because of the bleak thinking of the country’s football top brass in looking for the future. They have made the habbit of climbing a tree from the top look a normal thing and using the shortest of cuts a safer routine. They have refused to follow in the footsteps of their West African brothers and establishing of football academies a thing for the Europeans.
THE WAY TO GO
With international dominance having eluded us for years,it’s time to go back to the grassroots. Attention is to turn to youth work and promotion of talents (Sakata Ball). The national look should be fresher, younger, more dynamic and technically better. A solid and a well funded youth system will allow clubs to tap into a rich source of talents. This should be replicated from clubs of the top two divisions (TPL and Division One),to the FKF and individual academies, to create a web of youth development. Particular attention should be paid to the very young with the officials setting mobile coaching units,travelling across the country to visit schools and advising locally on training methods.
Every player with a dream of going pro should start his career at a small club because this is where the football foundations are laid; this is where the basis is. Clubs of the top two divisions should be forced to set up and operate their own academies failure to which stiffer penalties to be administered. With the various levels of youth work, the national federation should make sure it identifies and locates talents from every region in the country. With proper web,it will be virtually impossible for a talent to slip through the cracks. Only after the right academy ingredients in the country can we dream of making it to the top level and be at per with the African powerhouses.