Nearly 30 young footballers from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as a few from Zimbabwe, have been selected to fly to Madrid for soccer trials.
If all goes well, the young footballers from East Africa will soon be playing for several big Spanish football clubs in future.
The 28 young soccer players are those that displayed remarkable skills during the just ended East Africa Youth Soccer Tourney, the Chipkiz Cup 2022 which was staged in Arusha, between December 13 and 18, 2022.
During the annual tourney, held in Northern Tanzania, soccer agents from Spain, including the National Spanish League (LaLiga) and Spanish Football Institute (FSI), jetted into Tanzania to scout for new talents from East Africa.
The FSI Director Pablo Verdejo affirmed that their presence in Tanzania, attending Chipkizi Cup, was to mainly recruit new players who will be taken on full sponsorship for sports trials in Spain, in June and July 2023.
Among the recruits were six players from Azam FC, Five from Fountain Gate of Dodoma and four players from Eclat FC from DR Congo.
The Future Stars Academy of Arusha and Saint Soccer of Kenya produced three players each.
The Amarigo team of Uganda, the PE Academy from Zimbabwe and JKU of Zanzibar also produced two players each for the Spain trials, while the Idea Sports of Arusha managed a single player.
Tanzanian teams shone in the tourney, with the country amassing six trophies. Kenya got two cups and Uganda also won two cups.
More than 300 teams from across the globe, with over 4000 personalities between them are currently painting Arusha with soccer balls as the annual football event captures the city.
Alfred Itaeli, is the Director of Future Stars Academy (FSA), an Arusha-based organization which organizes the East African Youth Soccer Tourney.
He says there were many agents from various clubs, including Spain that came to identify potential young footballers.
“For the first time we managed to get qualified girls’ soccer players, they were recruited from Fountain Gate Academy,” Alfred adds.
He reveals that there will be negotiations between international soccer agents and local football academies to hatch a way forward in transforming their future into sports.
“We had 302 teams, with over 4300 from various corners of the continent,” he said, adding that they encourage other countries to bring teams for the annual tourneys.
One of the agents, Daniel Hidalgo from Spanish Football Institute (SFI), admitted that they have had good experience and that the Chipkizi Cup was a proper platform to discover new talents.