By ELIAS CHIPEPO –
FORMER English Premiership Arsenal captain, Tony Adams has lauded Airtel’s investment in youth football covering 17 countries.
Adams said this during the five-day Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) soccer clinic that came to an end at the weekend at the Eto’o Kicukiro football grounds in Kigali, Rwanda.
“Youth football is the way to go and I keep saying that Airtel should be commended for investing in youth football.
Airtel’s investment in youth football covers 17 countries and that is phenomenal. You don’t find too many corporate entities investing in football for young players so it is a great initiative by Airtel. Arsenal is happy to be involved with the Airtel Rising Stars initiative,” he said.
This is contained in a statement released by Airtel Zambia acting head-corporate communications and government relations, Lisa Mulozi.
And Alex Sikombe, who was one of the Zambia future stars that attended the clinic, said the soccer clinic will greatly help him become a better player and hopes to share the knowledge learnt with his friends.
“I have learnt that as a good player you need to study your opponents and focus on their weakest areas and take advantage of them. I have also come to learn that a player can only develop at the age of 14 to 17 years and that as a good player, you need to have good techniques, psychology, be physical and social,” said the Mungwi player.
Sikombe said he together with his five other Zambians were now yearning to utilise their newly acquired skills to enhance performance and prospects of becoming football stars.
The clinic offered the youngsters an opportunity to develop their raw skills under the Arsenal Soccer Schools curriculum which intends to produce well balanced soccer players who can play attractive attacking football.
The two coaches Rupen Shah and Nathan Asare undertook a vigorous programme covering the technical, physical and behavioral aspects of soccer.
Meanwhile, Mulozi said the ARS District trials will kick off on May 20 to June 20, while the provincial trials will kick off in all provincial towns from June 22 to June 30.
She said the national games will be held in Lusaka starting July 11 to the 15 culminating in an inter-country festival which will bring together the best players from participating countries across Africa in Gabon.
Airtel Zambia Networks Plc launched season four of the ARS last month inviting participants to fill in their forms before the closing date set for May 16.