•The finals will be held on Jamhuri Day. The counties include Kwale, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Embu, Machakos, Mandera, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Kakamega, Busia, Homa Bay, Kisii, and Migori.
•A total of 24 teams punched direct tickets to the final round set for Nairobi. This is the second round of the government-sponsored initiative which was conceived to provide a platform for the youth to exhibit their talent.
The second round of the Talanta Hela Under-19 football tournament enters the penultimate stage today with eight teams flexing muscles in the boys and girls semifinals.
Some 21 teams from 18 counties have been battling for the eight coveted slots in the national finals that will be held beginning December 3.
The finals will be held on Jamhuri Day. The counties include Kwale, Mombasa, Kiambu, Nakuru, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Embu, Machakos, Mandera, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Kakamega, Busia, Homa Bay, Kisii, and Migori.
All teams participating in the Nyeri edition finished second during the inaugural round of the competition that was launched in Taita Taveta in August.
A total of 24 teams punched direct tickets to the final round set for Nairobi. This is the second round of the government-sponsored initiative which was conceived to provide a platform for the youth to exhibit their talent.
Several celebrated Kenyan tacticians have been attending the matches to scout for exceptional talent.
They include Robert Matano who is the current head coach of 12-time Kenyan Premier League champions, Tusker.
The tournament coincides with the selection of the Kenya Under-18 team which will fly the country's flag at the upcoming Cecafa U-18 football tournament that will be held in Kisumu and Kakamega counties later in the month.
Teams like Uasin Gishu, Homabay, Kirinyaga, and Mandera have displayed splendid football in Nyeri.
This is a clear indication that there is massive talent in the country Hopefully, the scouts will find gifted players who can make the country proud in international competitions.
Speaking during the last Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo Stadium, President William Ruto said the government would launch a robust campaign to raise Kenyan football to the required levels of competition.
Ruto explained a detailed plan aimed at developing grassroots football through a collaborative effort between the national and county governments.
The government move is the first step in transforming sports into a mega industry to empower the youth.
The revolutionary ‘Talanta Hela’ plan aims to rebuild and monetize our sports. The government has also reiterated its intention to have Kenya in the World Cup shortly.
Earlier in the year, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba expressed his desire to see Harambee Stars at the 2030 World Cup.
"We have a vision that at least, Kenya must participate in the 2030 World Cup. We are confident because, with proper investment and planning, we can bring Harambee Stars to the World Cup in 2030," he said in a press conference.
The country also won a bid to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations alongside East African neighbors Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya needs to parade a strong team in the biennial continental football showpiece and the earlier the coaches identify a top-notch squad the better.
We can not afford to fumble in our backyard. It is, therefore, important to assemble an effective squad capable of claiming a maiden Africa Cup of Nations trophy at home.
The national team coaches have four years from now to get the work done and they should leverage youth tournaments such as Talanta Hela to tap into the amazing talent across the country.
The more frequently such tournaments are held the better it is for the country.