NAIROBI, Kenya, August 5- Former Harambee Stars coaches, Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee and Twahir Muhidin were in the panel of four coaches that will spearhead the search for outstanding players at next week’s Airtel Rising Stars finals.
Newly appointed AFC Leopards assistant coach, Mickey Weche and former women’s national team captain and MAOS FC ladies’ team head coach complete the line-up named on Friday.
Four players, two boys and two girls will be selected at the end of the Airtel Rising Stars football finals at the term two national secondary schools ball games to join the Manchester United youth camp.
The finals begin on Tuesday and run through to Saturday at Nairobi’s Moi Forces Academy.
“It’s a difficult and exerting exercise but it will be exciting. If you do not give the youth a chance to excel, then the vision of developing football in this country will never be realised,” Mulee, who will lead the panel said.
“This year, we will witness the big names like Kakamega High ‘Green Commandoes’ and Upper Hill Secondary missing having been knocked out at the district and provincial level.
“It is a show of the new talent we have in this country and football is taking a different dimension and it is a positive sign. Selecting four out of the hundreds of players on show does not mean those who are left out have less quality,” he added.
Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) national executive member, Moses Mbuthia assured, “We are ready to host the games and for the first time, at one venue. All pitches that will be used for football are irrigated and the draws are already done.”
“Everyone wants to be associated with these games since they have proved to be the best window for top talent. I recall in 2004, Dennis Oliech chose to play for Kamukunji High at these games instead of taking up a national team call-up,” Mbuthia who is also the secretary of KSSSA Nairobi branch added.
“The aim of the Airtel Rising Star search is to bridge the gap between professional players and emerging talent as well as developing talent in a different way. We have settled for a team of experienced tacticians to ensure Kenya is represented by the best talent at the Pan-African youth camp,” Dick Omondi, the Airtel Kenya Communications Head expressed.
The talent search was launched on June 17 in Kenya by Andy Cole, the retired former Manchester United striker and ambassador for the English Premiership champions.