World famous football internationals; Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse, Wayne Bridge and Calum Chambers among others have one thing in common: they all passed through the doors of the famous English Premier League (EPL) club, Southampton FC Football Academy-commonly known as Saints Academy where they made their formative steps to rewarding football careers at some of the biggest clubs in the world.
A lucky Kenyan youth could follow in the footsteps of the renowned stars following a partnership between leading gaming firm SportPesa and Southampton that will see five coaches arrive in the country on Saturday to conduct a week-long training camp in Nairobi.
The Saints Academy training delegation to Kenya will be led by Daniel Maye, the Lead Youth Development Phase Coach accompanied by Daniel Wright (Youth Development Phase Coach), Simon James Locke (Academy Goalkeeping Coach) and Andrew Martino (Football Development Manager – Global).
“This is the first player-focused training camp that we are holding in the country as the rest have all been for football coaches. It is also the first soccer activity that we are holding in partnership with Southampton.
“We are excited to welcome the Southampton coaches and it is our belief that the selected youngsters will benefit immensely from the training camp and subsequent programmes SportPesa has in store in developing young football talent,” Elizabeth Muragu, the Assistant Marketing Manager-Events and Sponsorships at SportPesa emphasized.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has already called-up 30 players from its developmental sides from all over the country to take part in the camp that will run at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi.
The Saints Academy is set up to encourage and develop young footballers in the south of England.
There are currently nine squads at the Academy where famous English internationals, Alan Shearer, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bridge, Ward-Prowse, Shaw and Lallana launched their careers.
Real Madrid and Wales superstar, Gareth Bale became one of the world’s most expensive footballers when he transferred from EPL side Tottenham Hotspur to the Bernabeu. He is another proud graduate of the Saints Academy.
SportPesa signed a three-year partnership with Southampton in 2016 to turn potential among Kenyan youth into excellence.
KENYA’S DEVELOPMENTAL SIDES FOR SOUTHAMPTON TRAINING CAMP
Goalkeepers: Ahmed Omar (Bandari Youth FC), Boniface Odhiambo (Brother Beusang HSl/Uweza FC), George Ouma (Kisumu Day Secondary).
Defenders: Daniel Wambua (Riruta Satellite Secondary), William Mutuku (Royal Star High/AFC Leopards Youth), Kenneth Karungari (St. Anthony Kitale HS), Muthoka Maingi (St. Phillip Wera), Thomas Muya (Koyonzo Secondary), Isaac Omoke ( Kibabii HS), Brian Omutanyi (Butere Boys HS) and Ali Abubakar (Laiser Hill Academy).
Midfielders: Clinton Machaka (Jamhuri High/N Y Pelico FC), John Njuguna (Passenga High), Biron Lukale (Laiser Hill), Mathew Malisau (Anointed HS/Acacoro Academy), Prince Boit (Captain/St. Austin’s Academy), Felix Kavenge (Brown Hill Secondary/Kayole Youngsters FC), Ibrahim Onnangwe (Savanah FC), Telvin Njeri (Laiser Hill), Zidane Karume (St. Patrick Secondary), Anthony Njenga (Aquinas HS), Jeremy Kamau (Nairobi School), Joshua Otieno (Kakamega HS), Abdulrahaman Mohamed (Isiolo Boys), Kevin Osanya (Acacoro Academy).
Forwards: Eric Muriithi, Evans Akinyi (Kakamega HS), Albert Mutsune (Anointed HS/Acacoro Academy), Yusuf Kamala (Laiser Hill), Hassan Adan (Acacoro Academy)