Ferwafa to start youth football leagues in 2015

The Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) will organise youth football leagues across the country starting next year in a bid to implement a consistent grassroots development programme.
The U-17 team that took part in the 2011 U-17 world cup. More youth talent is expected to be unearthed in the youth leagues that start next year. (File)
The U-17 team that took part in the 2011 U-17 world cup. More youth talent is expected to be unearthed in the youth leagues that start next year. (File)

The Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa) will organise youth football leagues across the country starting next year in a bid to implement a consistent grassroots development programme.

This is the first time that the local football governing body will be organising such nationwide competitions that start in February.

According to Ferwafa technical director Lee Johnson, selected districts in four provinces have been identified and include Kicukiro (central), Nyanza (south), Rubavu (west) and Gatsibo (east).  

“We made the selection based on the number of league teams that exist in those areas. We shall introduce the youth leagues in phases, quarterly to be specific. We would rather do it slowly mindful of the availability of facilities and resources,” explained Johnson.

The first phase will involve the U-15s, then the U-13s and finally the U-17s will gradually be introduced for both girls and boys categories.

An excited Johnson who has a history of youth development in the United Kingdom working as a youth coach at Chelsea and Crystal Palace academies said, “It is going to be massive. We have not had organised football regularly. What we are doing now is introducing structures and competitions to spur development.”

The Englishman further added that, “We can then start talent identification and then start recruiting into national teams.”

Johnson who is also the U-17 national team coach believes that these structures will have a positive impact on the selection of youth teams in the future.