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Youth Academy Excites Young Footballers in Gulu :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Youth Academy Excites Young Footballers in Gulu

The plan by the national football governing body, FUFA to introduce an academy to groom young players has caused excitement among football fans and youths with the hope of becoming professional footballers.

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The plan by the national football governing body, FUFA to introduce an academy to groom young players has caused excitement among football fans and youths with the hope of becoming professional footballers.

 

Patrick Ogwel, the FUFA vice president in charge of Youth programmes says the Under 17 Academy is to be unveiled in two-weeks time. He said FUFA would use the existing football clubs in all the regions as the recruitment base for the players to join the academy.

Oscar Monday, a retired footballer who says he first gained his initial top flight football exposure when he played for Under 23 category, explains that by introducing an academy for youths below seventeen years, the federation is recognizing the need to groom talent at all levels.

The former SC Villa player says the stiff competition for making it to the Under 23 category often meant the younger players always remained out until late while others ended up shunning the sport due to frustration.

He explained that competitions would be drawn for the youths who would be placed into teams to enable them compete for talent identification. He also challenged football clubs to aim at having junior reserves of their teams to help develop and tap as many talented players as there is.

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Dennis Ojwee, a FIFA referees’ Instructor and assessor said he too, is excited about the move to introduce the Under 17 youth academy, which he said would help identify and develop a huge potential of good young players. Ojwee complained that it was inappropriate for an entire country to fail to have an established academy, a structure that ensures continuity.

Presently, Uganda is short of national academies for grooming young football players unlike in most European countries where football is highly regarded. The only few vibrant academies are privately owned. They include Mujib Kasule's Proline Academy, Edgars Ltd that is owned by the former Cranes player and current FUFA chief executive officer, Edgar Watson and the Under 14 Kampala Kids League among others.

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