Government promises to continue with investments on youth football

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 01:20 | By
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (right) congratulates one of the Talanta Hela team players in Barcelona yesterday. PHOTO/Vincent Voiyoh
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (right) congratulates one of the Talanta Hela team players in Barcelona yesterday. PHOTO/Vincent Voiyoh

Season two of the state funded Talanta Hela tournament could see players of different age groups getting involved as Kenya propel its ambition to make a mark in international arenas in the near future after embarking on a meticulous move in the investment of youth football.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba has hinted that the next edition of the Talanta could see U14 and U15 players feature in the tourney that involved under 19 boys and girls last season.

The amendment would aid in the development of the juniors at their young ages as they would be molded correctly, as embraced by many countries abroad enjoying success in global football.

CS Ababu has reiterated that the state will not look back regarding its investment in youth and grassroots football in the country. The major aim is scaling the game to greater heights in the near future with the target of getting a formidable team that will represent Kenya in the 2027 African Cup of Nations and qualification to the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

“Bringing our youngsters here in Spain is an opportunity for them to start knowing football from seven dimensions. This is a good exposure and they have admitted to me that this is possibly the best ever exposure they have gotten in their careers. This is only the beginning, there is a lot more in the pipeline,” Ababu told People Sport.

The youthful minister witnessed Talanta Hela girls’ final game against a Spanish side Carafel at the Nastic Academy in Tarragona, where the Kenyan girls thumped the home team 5-0.

“Doing a lot means more tournaments, more exchange programs where the players can travel to other parts of the world but also they can host other teams in Kenya so that Kenyans can also watch their youngsters up close. A lot more means every opportunity we get for any competition we will get to push them into those spaces.”

By the time of going to the press yesterday, the Kenya Academy of Sports was set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Nastic Sports Academy, which is home to 23 young football stars including Amos Wanjala, Aldrine Kibet,Alvin Kasavauli and Ezekiel Nguwa.

“My main purpose of being here other than looking at our youngsters as they finalize the outing here in Spain is to complete the process of our between the Kenya Academy of Sports and the Nastic Sports Academy because Kenya must be elevated to a level where it starts to function as a proper Academy.”

The exchange program between the Tarragona based academy would see its officials aid Kenya in the scouting of talents and training of players and coaches.

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