Mombasa Academy sends eight to Western, Eastern giants on football scholarships

Youngsters Football Club from Kisauni area of Mombasa County has sent out a massive 8 players from their U16 unit on football scholarships across three different footballing giants in the school games. The Academy outfit, who do their training at Parma Shap Grounds in Bamburi, will have to do- for a while at least – without the services of their U16 players who have been scouted by Musingu High School, Mbooni High School and Kakamega High School and enrolled on football scholarships.

Team Manager Nickson Arunga is a man thrilled at the developments as it shows him just how far little deeds can go. He tells Soka that they are just two years old and already making an impact in aspiring footballers’ lives.

”We are just an ordinary team started by ordinary people with a love for the game. There was a lot of talent around here in Bamburi and that’s why we opted to give the kids something constructive they can engage in. We started small, and now, even they cannot believe that they are actually being targeted by big schools because of their talents,” Arunga says in an interview.

The academy’s most potent winger- one Mohammed Ali, has been roped in at Musingu High School by former Kakamega High School Coach Brenden Mwinamo. Joining Ali at the Kakamega county school is his teammate at Youngsters, Mohammed Karisa.

Mohammed Ali (C) on trials at Musingu High School. He has since been enrolled at the school [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

Kakamega High School also had themselves a share of the brilliantly talented kids from Bamburi and took in three for scholarships. Suleiman ‘Pogba’ Juma, Joseph Masese and Lucas Masha will school at the Green Commandos– as the former national champions are fondly known. Arunga reveals that the sudden rise of his youngsters was occasioned by one of their own players at the Copa U16 national ball games played in August in Kisumu.

”Suleiman Juma won the U16 national title with Serani and was spotted by Green Commandos coach who knew that from where he came, there must be more talent. So he came down here and picked two more,” continues Arunga.

Suleiman Juma (Extreme Right) won the Copa U16 title with Serani in Kisumu [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

The other three players have headed to Mbooni- Eastern Region champions, so Mbaruk Juma, Abubakar Abdul and Musa Gulani will have the duty of aiding the Eastern giants past the group stages of next year’s national ball games as they failed to do so this year in Kisumu.

TM Arunga however, feels teams from around Mombasa County can do better in offering development platforms to youthful yet needy talent.

”Our first lot went to Serani on scholarships, but this second lot goes to bigger schools and that is so because most schools in Mombasa have not yet woken up to the talents around them. If other coaches who have won the national titles come all the way down here for players, then it is a big challenge to our schools in the county,” Arunga notes.

Youngsters Academy mainly plays in tournaments at the moment- at least since the completion of the Football Kenya Federation U13 and U15 leagues which have not resumed yet.