Akhulia explains significance of Four Nations Tournament after thumping Zimbabwe

FOOTBALL Akhulia explains significance of Four Nations Tournament after thumping Zimbabwe

Mark Kinyanjui 15:32 - 23.03.2024

Most of the players who reached the final of the CECAFA U18 Boys' Championships last December are part of the current squad taking part in the Malawi tournament.

Kenya U20 assistant coach Anthony Akhulia is adamant his charges will be up to the task when they face hosts Malawi in their second clash of the ongoing Four Nations Tournament on Sunday.

Kenya dispatched Zimbabwe 3-1 in their first clash on Friday afternoon and will be hoping they can clinch the tournament if they win their second and last fixture of the tournament.

“It was a very difficult game for us but I congratulate the boys for playing very well. We played a team we have not watched or seen play,” remarked Akhulia. “All in all, we have won, and that is the most important thing in football.”

With their first victory under their belt, the focus now shifts to the upcoming clash against hosts Malawi. Akhulia acknowledges the challenge ahead but remains optimistic about his team's prospects.

“We just prepare the way we prepared for this (Zimbabwe) match, but again, we are playing against the hosts, so we know it will not be easy for us," he stated. "We hope and believe the boys will do a better job and try to win us the match.”

The tournament's significance for Rising Stars goes beyond mere competition. For Akhulia and his coaching staff, it serves as a platform to gauge the progress of the players who previously featured in the CECAFA U18 Boys Championship, where Kenya fell short to Uganda in the finals last December.

"We want to use the tournament to see the progression of the boys - how far they have come. We want to ensure that the team grows and they will rise to the ranks of coming to the senior team.”

As the Rising Stars brace themselves for the challenge against Malawi, they carry not only the hopes of their nation but also the aspirations of a bright future in Kenyan football. 

With determination and grit, they aim to showcase their talent and continue their journey towards the summit of the sport.