National soccer academy: A timely football boost
At least Tanzania has finally conceded that a tree can only be bent in its infancy.
Over the weekend I visited the Dar es Salaam national stadium and witnessed some 85 under-18 talented boys line up for an interview to join the national football academy set to commence at the end of this month, in Bagamoyo.
The interview conducted by two football tacticians from Bolton, England, was to pick 25 promising boys who would at once start training at the said academy.
I was then informed that after the boys` selection, other foreign coaches would come to train them in the academy.
In the academy, the lucky boys will be “well-cooked“ regarding the on-and-off -the-pitch football values and techniques. They would also make foreign training tours.
The move is very promising and might produce many ‘Didier Drogba`s` who would boost Tanzania’s football at the international level.
“We want to produce players who will play in top teams like Manchester and Arsenal“ claimed one of Bolton’s trainers who are in the country for the academy.
For years now Tanzania has been struggling to develop her soccer to be in line with other well performing overseas nations.
In a bid to realise this ambition, the national soccer body has taken a number of measures aimed at improving the country’s soccer standard.
They include the directive wanting all 14 teams competing in the Vodacom premier league to form under -18 teams.
TFF president, Leodegar Tenga remarked that the academy will heal the long illness of the national soccer. But the majority worry is over the destiny of the boys after the training.
Is the local soccer body sure that we are not producing what we won`t consume?
According to the objectives set by the academy, after the boys have qualified, they will easily be marketed abroad to various giant’ clubs.
Then, from there they will obtain enough knowledge and experience which in-turn would help in the coming year’s Taifa Stars.
Yes, this makes sense, but we should remember that there are possibilities that good Tanzanian players may change their citizenships in pursuit of lucrative remunerations.
A case in point is that of a Tanzanian Zitto Manfred who is now a citizen of Rwanda.
In short TFF has to make sure that the academy produces players who benefit the nation`s soccer; it doesn’t have to be a commercial oriented project.
I am certain that the academy will produce good strikers who would join Maximo`s Taifa Stars to reach the set goals of playing the 2010 World Cup.
- SOURCE: Sunday Observer