Clubs to incorporate youth team players in senior duties


Clubs to incorporate youth team players in senior duties
FKF president Nick Mwendwa and Secretary General Robert Muthomi consulting during the 2018 AGM in Kiusumu. Photo by Teddy Oyoo

In Summary

  • Football Kenya federation (FKF) on Saturday passed an amendment of promotion of Kenyan Premier League and National Super League (NSL) Youth League players to the senior teams, a proposal presented by the Kariobangi Sharks FC Chairman Robert Maoga in the 2018 AGM.
  • The amendment will see clubs with validly registered youth players feature in the league matches for the senior teams, at the discretion of the senior team coach.
  • According football FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the move will allow clubs to ease pressure to their regular players especially when featuring in several competitions, a principle he observes has been suggested by Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne

Football Kenya federation (FKF) on Saturday passed an amendment of promotion of Kenyan Premier League and National Super League (NSL) Youth League players to the senior teams, a proposal presented by the Kariobangi Sharks FC Chairman Robert Maoga in the 2018 AGM.

The amendment will see clubs with validly registered youth players feature in the league matches for the senior teams, at the discretion of the senior team coach.

According football FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the move will allow clubs to ease pressure to their regular players especially when featuring in several competitions, a principle he observes has been suggested by Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne.
“This is a step that will help clubs groom their finest upcoming players for big assignments while young. It may take long for some of these players to break into the senior teams permanently but the exposure of they get in the few matches they are given will matter a lot.

“The arrangement for the national teams is having Under 17 players take over from the Under 20 ones as they graduate to take the roles of the Under 23’s. Migne has been advising we need to see at least few youth players on the big stage preparing them to take over from their seniors. At the club level this is the best way to actualise this, provided the players are duly contracted by their respective clubs,” told Mwendwa.

Delegates had no issue in passing the amendment, which will mean clubs will have to adhere with the Club Licensing rules of the youth players’ contracts to benefit from it.

Adoption of new league calendar

The federation also adopted the new league calendar as directed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with all leagues for the 2018/2019 season set to end by June to allow the official new format of August to May.

 

In the light of the development, Mwendwa urged clubs to be committed in complying with the licensing rules to avoid delays that could even further league congestion.

“We have clarified areas that had question marks in the licensing criteria, to enable everyone to be clear with the scoring that we will do. We however request that any club that may feel that the scoring is done unfairly to appeal in the appeals committee. We don’t want to be in courts for issues we can easily solve. We want to be fair to you (clubs) and you be fair to us,” averred the FKF boss.

He however expressed optimism the forthcoming season will run smooth, expecting cooperation from all stakeholders.

“We are grateful we are doing these meetings (AGM’s) without troubles for the third year now. In the past we would always see chaos, and this change is a show of solidarity of the clubs and branches towards our major common goal, football development. I’m confident the same spirit will continue in all areas as we get into the new season,” assured Mwendwa.

A leap into 2019

Having announced that the next AGM will among other issues set date for the 2020 elections, Mwendwa revealed an ambitious plan of infrastructure development in 2019, rushing to complete the first term agenda.

Among them is the completion of Goal Project structures including two pitches at the venue, aimed at easing national teams’ pressure whenever there is preparation for a major assignment.

“We will use grants from FIFA to do an artificial pitch and a grass one at the Goal Project, and ensure we finish the complex where players can camp whenever we are preparing our national teams. We are having national teams in camp at least after every two months, which means we have to plan on how to avoid knocking door at the exchequer every other time. By the next 18 months we should be through with the project starting January 2019,” explained Mwendwa.

The federation also announced plans to use part of the development fund to do a proper pitch in Garissa, as one of the five stadiums to be renovated in the grassroots.

Regular Afcon qualification

Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne instructs Victor Mugabe Wanyama during their AFCON 2019 qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on October 14, 2018. Kenya won 3-0. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/www.sportpicha.com

With 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) spot almost sealed, Mwendwa declared his regime wants the qualification to be the start of regular success.

“We are waiting for Sierra Leone to come here in November, beat them and qualify. If they don’t (based on the current FIFA ban) we are through. This is the beginning after 15 years out and we must sustain the momentum, qualify for the 2021 and 2023, also targeting the 2021 World Cup,” a confident Mwendwa underlined.

Already looking forward to a strong finish of his last two years of his first tenure, he has declared he will seek fresh mandate in 2020, to continue “with what we have started so far.”

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