NAIROBI, Kenya, March 5 – After the opening two rounds, the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom heads to Eastern region with Kitui Showground hosting the football tournament this weekend (March 9-10).
Eight youth teams will battle it out for the region’s supremacy and a chance to play in the national finals set for June in Meru County.
The region’s competition begun in January with a total of 176 teams taking part in the preliminaries.
The boys’ semis will see Isiolo Young Stars play Triumph boys from Embu while Mwingi’s Super Solico will take on Samba boys from Moyale.
The corresponding girls’ category will have Karugwa Queens from Meru Central face Chuka Starlets from Meru South as Marsabit’s Sakuu Queens meet St. Mary’s Ndovea from Makueni.
The region’s defending champions Mwingi Junior Academy and Ngakaa Talent Center, failed to qualify for regional finals to pave way for new champions to be crowned.
“The matches have been very competitive all the way from the grassroots level. We have seen new and aggressive players and teams putting their talents into action and we hope some of them will form the all-star team that will train in Spain. The teams are ready and we expect entertaining football this weekend,” said Iddy Badi, Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Eastern Region Coordinator.
The regional winners will receive a cash reward of Sh200,000 each and a chance to represent the region in the tournament’s national finals. The runners- up will also pocket Sh 100,000 each.
Already, Western region’s Bishop Njenga Girls and Lugari Blue Saints as well as Manyatta Boys and Ndhiwa Queens from Nyanza have qualified for the national finals after winning their respective regional titles.
After Eastern the tournament moves to Rift Valley, Coast, Central, North Eastern and Nairobi regions as the race to La Liga heats up.
The competition aims at scouting for youth talent, developing grassroots football, and ultimately propel gifted players to the national team.
This year an all-star team will be selected to attend a training camp in Spain during which they will play against local youth sides.