By Sahr Morris Jnr
President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Isha Johansen, has advised young boys who are so passionate about playing football as a career that the game goes with education to achieve success.
The SLFA boss made this statement recently while addressing over 300 children from 16 communities in the Western Area during the U-12 talent search at the Football Academy, Kingtom.
She said: “Football is for youth and children; to see you gathered here today is like the beginning of my coming into the game of football. Today I see young talents with the desire to move forward but kids don’t forget football goes with education and therefore I crave your indulgence to take your school work seriously along with football.”
According to Brima Mazolla Kamara, Vice President 1 of the SLFA, searching for young talents has always been their dream since they assumed office in August last year, noting that this is one of the ways football can develop in the country. He cited other West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D’ Ivoire and Senegal, among others, who have devoted their time to youth football development and are now reaping what they sowed few years back.
“You are the future football ambassadors of Sierra Leone and I’m sure there is going to be a Ronaldo or Messi among you. Just be focused on playing the game and take your school work seriously. I’m sure the sky will be your limit,” the former Sierra Leone international told the kids.
The festival was climaxed with the presentation of certificates and gifts to deserving kids as well as collective prizes. The technical department says it will be announcing the names of 45 kids, who have been identified as talents for the Western Area U-12 festival. These kids would be called for a final training where 30 will be selected and nurtured for future national engagements.
Waterloo, Calaba Town, Attouga, Trade Center (Kissy), Aberdeen, Parade, Wilberforce, Kingtom, Lumley, Lakka, Kroo Town Road, Fourahbay (Marbella), Regent (SS Camp), Brookfields, Murray Town and Approved School communities all took part at the festival.