NAIROBI, Kenya, January 15 – Thika United duo of Stephen Waruru and Dennis Odhiambo depart for South Africa on Friday where they have been invited for trials at Boot Laces Academy.
Both players will undergo a four week assessment period at the Durban based institution and stand a chance to join one of the top South African Premier League teams.
“I’m happy to have been given this opportunity and I promise to do my best, learn a lot and succeed at the academy,” said Odhiambo who was recruited by Thika during the 2006/2007 secondary school games and has two Harambee Stars caps.
Eighteen year old Waruru is also looking forward to the training course.
“I’m going there to give my best and hope that things will go well together with confidence and application of the skills,” said Waruru.
Thika coach Juma Abdallah Swaleh is confident that the players will do well while in South Africa.
I strongly believe that these players will shine and make us proud as ambassadors of Kenya in their mission,” said Swaleh.
“These development shows that we have talent in Kenya and one of the best countries on the continent,” he added.
Both players are beneficiaries of the Brookside Soccer Scholaraship which is awarded to the five best players at the secondary school games who then get a chance to train with Thika United and join the team as professionals if they impress.
“Today’s (Thursday) event is yet another confirmation of the success of our partnership program with Thika United FC, and an example of how our soccer scholarship has been able to transform the fortunes of our up and coming soccer players,” said Brookside Dairy marketing manager Peter Wasonga at the players send off ceremony.
“We are proud of this programme and we intend to continue supporting it to give our youth a chance to pursue their dreams,” he added.
‘Through our sponsorship we also helped identify and nuture the talents of such players as Francis Kahata who you might recall also underwent similar training in Ghana last year and was able to attract the interest of some of the big European teams in Italy and Netherlands,” said Wesonga.
Boot Laces Academy is part of the Pro-Sports Management which is identified globally as a leader in training upcoming talent.
It was founded in 1999 by Mike Makaab who was part of the technical bench that guided Bafana Bafana to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 1996 and Bobby Deutschmann, a former professional football player with Durban city and director of a successful sports promotions company in Durban.