- FKF youth committee chair Chris Amimo said the technical levels of the players from Mombasa is outstanding.
- FKF Mombasa chair Lillian Kazungu said Mombasa has always had talent but there has been no structure in place to nurture the talent.
The level of football among teenagers in Mombasa has impressed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) officials currently in Mombasa to oversee the selection exercise for the Kenya Under 17 national team.
FKF youth committee chairman Chris Amimo on Thursday said the technical levels of the players from Mombasa are outstanding.
“We have gone round the country starting with Nairobi, Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western, Central and now Coast and so far the talent we have spotted here in Mombasa is on another level,” said Amimo.
He spoke during the Kenya Under-17 Coast regional team selection exercise at Mbaraki ground in Mombasa.
“Even the coaches present here have admitted that the technical levels we have seen here are on a higher level than the other regions. Only Nairobi can match them,” he said.
Amimo said the selection team, including the Kenya Under 17 team head coach David Ouma and FKF technical director Michael Amenga, will be heading to Eastern region then North Eastern after coast.
FKF Mombasa chair Lillian Kazungu said Mombasa has always had talent but there has been no structure in place to nurture the talent.
She said most of the time such events occur, most children are in school and thus miss out on the opportunities. “This time, the Covid-19 situation has been a blessing in disguise for us because the children are at home,” Kazungu said.
The selection exercise for the Mombasa County Under 17 team was conducted last Saturday at Tudor Primary ground and a record number players took part in the exercise.
“We had over 200 players turned up. We shortlisted 60 and yet only 18 were required. We had a big headache selecting the 18 and had to look at different details like discipline and specific technical abilities,” said Kazungu.
She said of the five coastal counties that turned up for the regional selection exercise, only Mombasa had the U-13 and U-15 teams. The Kenya U-17 football team will be taking parting in the Cecafa Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Rwanda between December 13-28. Amimo said they will be keen on age in a bid to sideline cheats.
He said they hope to do MRI scans on the selected players to ascertain their ages besides checking the authenticity of their birth certificates and letters from their respective schools. “The MRI scan will determine whether or not the player is truly within the age bracket. If we find a player has surpassed the age bracket, we will just drop him,” said Amimo.
He said the selection team exercise does not use any quota system but purely the technical levels of the players. “This means even if we get all the players needed from one region, we will do that,” said Amimo.
In 2017, there was a selection exercise for the Kenya Under- 13 team and Mombasa produced three players to the team.