Let’s stop fire brigade approach to soccer

Let’s stop fire brigade approach to soccer

While Ngorongoro Heroes launch their campaign next month, Serengeti Boys are not in action until September. Should they clear their respective first hurdles, both teams face potential tussles    against the continent’s heavyweights, Nigeria and Egypt respectively.

Therefore, it goes without saying that the task ahead of our local envoys is monumental, a situation that calls for commitment, hard work and proper organization. As the teams enter the continental fray, it is unfortunate to note that a fire brigade approach will again apply this time around in the wake of unclear long term strategies on the part of soccer governing body to invest in youth systems.

The development and recruitment of youth talent ought to have been at the heart of our long term strategy of building sustainable youth teams whose graduates would eventually make the national senior team.  The country as vast as ours ought to have numerous youth training centres also known as academies and have youth tournaments for various age groups taking place regularly.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and as a result the senior team mostly has for a long time had to rely on players from the two local giants Simba and Yanga. We agree that TFF is financially challenged to run such tournaments, but more aggressive approach to seek sponsors should help. On the other hand it is a well known fact that, countries that are successful with youth policies don't necessarily spend a lot of money, but have only good, practical plans in place and ensure their implementation.

For inspiration we just need to look across the border to Rwanda, whose FA’s budget is not one of the biggest on the continent and yet last year its Under-17 team finished second in the African Championship and went on to make the first ever appearance in the World Cup Championship in Mexico, a feat Tanzania has never managed in its 50 years history. In a nutshell, for youth systems to prosper, the TFF, clubs, government and sponsors have to pull together even closer and redouble their efforts to invest in youth teams.

Author: EDITOR

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