CS Namwamba makes youth football league plea to FKF after Junior Starlets qualify for U-17 World Cup

CS Namwamba makes youth football league plea to FKF after Junior Starlets qualify for U-17 World Cup

Mark Kinyanjui 15:20 - 17.06.2024

Namwamba makes youth football plea to FKF after Junior Starles qualify for the U-17 Women's World Cup for the first time in their history.

Following the historic achievement of the Junior Starlets in qualifying for the World Cup, CS Ababu Namwamba has confirmed he has been holding talks with Football Kenya Federation to establish a youth league to supplement the FKFPL.

This initiative aims to provide a structured platform for young players to launch their careers and maintain continuous competition.

Kenya has lacked a structured youth league to complement its top-tier league since the U19 and U20 tournaments held under the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) in 2013 and 2016, respectively. 

The last notable engagement of youth teams was in 2016 when all 16 KPL teams fielded youth sides in U20 leagues during the April, August, and December holidays.

In a press address, CS Namwamba emphasized the importance of revamping the youth league. 

"I have asked FKF to revive and strengthen the youth league so that youngsters can have continuous competition. For example, during the Four Nations Tournament in Malawi, I insisted on having a U20 segment. It was beneficial for our U20 players to gain experience from that," he stated.

The 2016 KPL U20 tournament produced several notable talents, including Tusker FC's Brian Bwire and Michael Kibwage, KCB’s Faraj Ominde, AFC Leopards’ Lewis Bandi, Musa Oundo and Maxwell Mulili, Gor Mahia’s Austin Odhiambo, and Bandari’s Abdallah Hassan and James Kinyanjui, among others.

CS Namwamba also reaffirmed the government's commitment to supporting young sportsmen through initiatives like Talanta Hela.

 "If Kenyans needed confirmation that supporting the youth through programs such as Talanta Hela works, and that investing in talent development works, then the Junior Starlets qualifying for the World Cup is confirmation of that," he stated.

The Junior Starlets made history by becoming the first Kenyan team to qualify for a football World Cup.

They secured their spot in the U-17 Women's World Cup, to be held in the Dominican Republic in October, by defeating Burundi 2-0 at the Ulinzi Sports Complex, completing a 5-0 aggregate victory. 

The team is one of three from Africa, alongside Zambia and Nigeria, to participate in the tournament.

This significant milestone underscores the potential and talent within Kenya's youth football, emphasizing the need for structured development pathways and continuous competitive opportunities.

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