By Carlos Kambaekwa
The Chief Administrator of the National Sports Commission Rusten “Zukhile” Mogane has urged football authorities to put their ducks in the row and stop paying lip service when it comes to football development at grass roots level.
The former Brave Warriors mentor was a guest speaker at the launching of the Khomas Under-17 League at Soccer House yesterday.
The league, already in its second year running, will consist of 24 teams, with the ball rolling in eleven matches scheduled for the Sam Nujoma Stadium this weekend.
Mogane said the most important components of football development are tactics and technical awareness and reiterated the essence of continuity.
“How on earth can one take any football team seriously when they claim to be amongst the leading football clubs in the country and yet they do not have development programmes in place?” charged the former Black Africa midfield genius angrily.
“We should not fool ourselves by producing appetizing programmes with very little going into the implementation, while these well articulated programmes are gathering dust.”
The 24-team youth league has attracted the attention of five of the seven Windhoek-based Premiership clubs who heeded the call of seriously considering having youth structures in place.
African Stars, Orlando Pirates, Ramblers, SKW and Tigers have all entered their development teams in the league – leaving Black Africa and Civics as the only Premiership sides without any representation in the highly recommended youth league.
The first round will be split into two streams consisting of 12 teams each, and will play one round of matches in a league format, with the top eight teams graduating to the next round of the league in a knockout setup in pursuit of the N$7 500 first prize at stake, in addition to 35 gold medals.
The runner-up is guaranteed a cool N$4 000 including 35 silver medals,
whilst the semifinalists will receive N$500 each.
The remaining 16 teams from both streams will contest the shield in the losers section for the N$1 000 first prize, with the runner-up taking home a consolation prize of N$500 while the semifinalists will pocket N$250 for their troubles.
The programme in the opening round reads as follows:
Saturday, 12 April, 2008 – A Stream
Challengers United vs African Stars, 09h00
EBC vs Young Ones, 11h20
KFA vs S Balla, 13h40
Saturday, 12 April, 2008 – B Stream
Mario Academy vs Katsville, 10h10
NYFDP vs Tigers, 12h30
Okahandja Park vs Star Boys, 14h50
Sunday 13 April, 2008 – A Stream
Kukulethu vs Shipena Stars, 09h00
Orlando Pirates vs Scorpions, 12h30
Sunday, 13 April, 2008 – B Stream
Ongete vs SKW, 09H00
OD Com FC vs Ran-gers FC, 11H20
Ramblers vs East Swallows, 13H40
NB: Unless otherwise stated, all matches will be played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura.