The Migori Youth Talent Academy on Saturday organised a special dinner in honour of three players who succeeded to join the Harambee Stars under 13 team that played in Southampton FC, England.
The dinner organised at a local hotel in Migori town was attended by Suna Central MCA elect Christopher Onanda who said the move was the best call for federation and football stakeholders to put more effort on youth talent.
The three players Kennedy Omondi, 13, Brian Stanley, 13 and Elly Owino 11 said the experience which saw them play youngsters from Chelsea, Porto and Southampton was an eye opener.
Apart from heading to Nairobi for the first time Omondi and Stanley all pupils at Good Samaritan Academy and Owino of Midoti Primary School, all in class seven, said the experienced an eye opener.
“I play central defense and this call for national team and being to see players and stadiums I only see on TV face to face was an eye opener, I am proud and I wish to be a professional footballer in English premier league, I start with a small team then end up in Manchester,” Omondi said.
Stanley, a mild fielder said the outing helped him learn “a player must have passion and discipline to be a professional,” and dreams of playing for Barcelona
Owino, said he was lucky to see his idol Victor Wanyama Southampton grounds before he moved to Tottenham, the same club he wish to play for in future “because they have experienced youth team.”
Their coach Aol Omondi, said MYTA was started in 2009 to help nurture talents from youths which was going to waste for lack of linkage opportunities.
“Apart from learning football, we train youngsters on discipline and building their personality. Having the three is the highest we have reached and we aspire for more,” Omondi said.
The academy has produced Enoch Agwanda (Bandari FC), Calvin Masawa (City Stars), Calvin Oketch (Talanta FC), Gideon Ogweno (Zetech University) and Antonio Ongwaro (Isebania FC) among others.
“We appreciate the federation for the gesture which will also see the team play in Burundi in a local tournament, this is the right step in boosting games in the country,” Omondi said.
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) sponsored the team for games in August 5-13 following trails on April 8-9 that saw a 20 boys team picked.
The national selection featured 1337 clubs and 16,789 players from across the country drawn from the FKF’s 43 sub branches, which makes the selection a plus for the academy.
-The Star/Manuel Odeny