The national football federation Technical Director Richard Tardy has started talent search for the next Rwanda U-17 team which will compete in next year’s Africa U-17 championship qualifiers.
Speaking to Saturday Sports yesterday, Tardy said, “We have identified potential players from all parts of the country. In a few days, these players will be tested in primary schools competitions which are set to begin during the school holidays.”
“Personally, I have been to Rwamagana, Ngoma, Gatsibo and Nyagatare as part of our mission to look out for the next U-17 team, while some other players are being detected with the help of training centres in Rubavu and Huye,” he disclosed.
He added, “I believe we can raise another generation that can again qualify for the World Cup but it needs more than we can imagine but I am optimistic we will raise a good team.”
Besides the U-17 team, Tardy is also scouting players for the next U-20 team and he plans to give refresher courses to some grassroots coaches, with whom he is working on his country-wide talent search mission.
The Frenchman made history when he led Rwanda U-17 teams to the final of the African Youth Championships held in Kigali in 2011 and the U-17 Fifa World Cup finals held in Mexico.
On top of handling the U-17 and U-20 teams, Tardy was named the country’s technical director by the Ministry of Sports and Culture in collaboration with Rwanda football body, Ferwafa in June last year.
Last year, Rwanda was eliminated in both the U17 and U20 continental championships in the qualifying stages but Tardy is keen to build a stronger team for the next qualifiers.