Football: Four eye Aspire Academy slots in Qatar

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Former Amavubi U-17 and U-20, and Marine forward Blaise Itangishaka, seen here in action against Uganda U-20, is a product of Aspire Academy. (File)

Four Rwandan youngsters are among 60 players from East Africa eyeing slots to train at the Aspire Academy in Qatar and Senegal.

The four Rwandan youngsters include; Emmanuel Tuyishime (Shinning Boys), Patrick Mucyo (Rubavu Training Center), Prosper Rugangazi (Esperance football center) and Hashimu Niyonkuru (Youth Sport Academy). The quartet was picked during trials held in Rwanda late last month.

At least 10 boys will be selected this week at the 10th annual Aspire Football Dreams programme that seeks to give young teenagers a chance to showcase their skills and put them on the path towards professional football.
The final round of demonstrations began on Monday at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

The participants are from Kenya (14), Rwanda (4), Tanzania (14) and Uganda (18).

The best players from each participating countries including three goalkeepers will head to Aspire Academy in Qatar for a three-week final testing phase while the 20 best players will be on full scholarships to pursue the opportunity of becoming a “Champion in Sport” as well as “Champion in Life.”

On Thursday the team that will join the Aspire Football Dreams (AFD) programme will be named.

Some of the players who have benefited from the programme include; Rwanda’s Blaise Itangishaka, who plays for Marines, Kenyans Khalid Jumaan of AFC Leopards and a former U20 national team player, Joseph Wanyonyi of Tusker FC.

Subsequently, a satellite branch of Aspire Academy was established in Senegal and from 2007 to 2014; more than 3.5 million kids have been screened in 17 countries with at least 20 scholarships awarded each year.

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