NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has insisted that the only way Kenyan and African football in general can scale the heights is if more insistence is put on developing the young kids from a tender age.
Fowler who rose to become the sixth-all time top scorer of the English Premier League says that picking lessons from his growth at Merseyside, football players can only be made to live to their full potential if they are nurtured early.
“You can’t go to top level and fix it straight away. Football starts with kids. When you have good cultures and people who can teach the kids in the right way and get them to learn the basics of football, then that’s where you start,” Fowler said.
He added; “Personally for me I learnt football from a very young age and sometimes you have to get the right people to help you through it. I was fortunate to have Ian Rush with me teaching me how to run, how to position myself and how to score.”
Fowler was speaking on Friday morning on the second day of his visit to Kenya where he held a soccer clinic with kids from the Musa Otieno foundation.
“It is such a great thing to be here and to see these kids. It is all about them today. I am happy to see what the people responsible here are doing with the youths and me coming here basically is help impart that knowledge especially to the coaches because these are the people who will be responsible for shaping the future,” Fowler noted.
Present during the clinic at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Jericho was Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa and Barclays Kenya boss Jeremy Awori.
Mwendwa echoed Fowler’s comments, noting that the federation has put in measures to ensure the youth teams are active, picking up recent success by the Under-23 team which has progressed to the second round of qualification for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We have teams from Under-15 who are active and playing. Apart from that, we have invested in training of coaches countrywide to ensure this knowledge imparted on the young players is good knowledge,” Mwendwa noted.
Meanwhile, Barclays boss Awori has hinted that talks are on with the Federation to explore avenues of partnering with view of sponsorship.
“We are always looking for areas to support more and we have been talking with Nick on what are the opportunities. Personally I am passionate about youth and encouraging the next crop of players to come up,”
“With Barclays shifting to Absa which has a strong history of supporting rugby as well, we will come with that passion and I will be pushing from my side to see what we can do,” noted Awori.
Rush will on Saturday take part in an activation by sponsors Barclays Bank at the Two Rivers Mall and will be live on Capital FM’s sports show Saturday Music and Sports.
On Sunday, he will be at the 24th edition of the Koroga Festival for his final social event of the visit.