NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – The Football Kenya Federation has been invited for this year’s Southampton Youth Cup which will take place at the English Premier League’s Staplewood base in the South Coast of England from August 5.
The Federation will send two boys’ and one girls’ team for the age group competition which has also attracted the interest of Chelsea FC, West Ham and FC Porto.
“This is a great opportunity for talented players from all over the country to have this kind of exposure as early as possible in their careers. Previously it has only been a select few from the rich academies who have gotten that opportunity to go out because they can afford it. Now, an open opportunity has been presented,” FKF head of Youth Football Chris Amimo told Capital Sport.
He has also disclosed the Under-13 and Under-15 boys team will be picked by April while most likely an Under-15 girls’ team will be selected for the invitational tournament.
“At the moment we don’t have such a structured league for the girls like we do with the boys but hopefully by April we will have something running. This opportunity at least gives the league some excitement because the players will be putting their all knowing they are looking forward to something,” Amimo added.
The eight-day international youth tournament, which is being hosted in the city of Southampton and surrounding area, will involve boys’ and girls’ teams from around the globe, with sides from countries such as Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Croatia, Algeria, Canada and Switzerland all set to take part.
The competition will feature Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 categories, with more than 1,500 players and 300 coaches expected to visit the city for the football festival.
The tourney is expected to kick off on August 5, with the competition open to both professional academy (Academy Section) and non-elite teams (Premier Section).
The Southampton Academy boasts of producing some of the finest players including the Arsenal trio of Theo Walcott, Callum Chambers and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Liverpool’s Adam Lallana, Manchester United’s Luke Shaw as well as Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.