The developmental Chigoli Under-12 Football Cup ends today at Bishop Mackenzie International School in Lilongwe when four select sides from Likuni, Area 25, Kamuzu Institute and Don Bosco zones battle for the crown.
But what is special about these seven-aside games is that the best players will be given the opportunity to form the basis of the Chigoli Football Academy, which starts operations in July.
“The children will not only fight for their teams’ glory but also strive for the chance to be individually chosen to join the first Chigoli Academy Under-12 squad. We are really excited to see the best players from across the capital city compete against each other,” said National Youth Football Committee (NYFC) general secretary Chimango Munthali.
He added that the tournament, which started with community competitions involving over 700 youths in April, will also be used to help reinforce messages regarding the importance of correct nutrition and education.
According to the founder of Chigoli Academy, George Maguire, after the final selection of players, the first Chigoli Academy squad will train weekly in a well resourced environment with qualified coaches and modern training methods.
“This will mark the end of the pilot stage of our plans. The next phase is to use the community tournament model established with support from the Central Region Youth Football Committee this year,” said Maguire.
“Children identified within the academy will engage in such model tournaments to attract sponsors and partners to enable growth and put Chigoli on the map as home of progressive youth football development in Malawi.”