Airtel Rising Stars is back to produce talents
This time every year, since 2011 Sierra Leoneans are blessed with the opportunity to look out for young talents in Airtel Rising Stars tournament as the Western Area version is underway. (Photo: Defending champions, Mahmoud FC)
It started on Wednesday at the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) academy synthetic turf, with stars beginning to emerge in both the male and female categories. Only players under the age of 17 years are qualified to participate.
Adama Kargbo, a 9-year old class five pupil of Baptist Primary School at Waterloo impressed in her first game in tournament when her side Pama Queens played against Med United.
She was the youngest on the pitch and is believed to be the youngest ever to have ever played in Airtel Rising Stars competition since its inception.
Despite the fact that they lost 2-1, she captured the eyes of fans with her dribbling skills that led her to score the consolation goal for Pama Queens.
Raymond Coker, a FIFA referee who is a member of the technical committee of tournament says he was impressed by the performance of Kargbo and her future is bright if she chooses football as her career.
“She has shown that she’s a talent and that’s what the Airtel Risng Stars is all about to identify talents,” Coker added.
Already established stars from previous tournaments are also doing what they are known for as it came as no surprise when defending Champions in the female category Mahmoud FC thrashed Young Tigers 4-1 in the opening game.
Mahmoud FC clearly dominated the game with Fatmata Mansaray, Magrette Seseay, Rashidatu Kamara and Hawanatu Conteh accounted for a goal each.
Owner of Mamoud FC Mahmoud Macky said he was confident that his team would retain their Western Area title because they have the best and experienced players.
There were two matches in the boys’ category on day one; Area Best defeated Bureh FC 2-0 whilst Rural Kings lost 1-0 to Med Man’s.
One of the tournament’s organisers John Konteh is hoping to have a good tournament. He said: “We are hoping to have a smooth tournament as we hope all teams will comply with the regulations.”
“We’re also hoping that Airtel Rising Stars season three will be better than Seasons one and two in terms of everything.”
Konteh says this years’ Airtel Rising Stars competition will take place in both regional and national stages.
Like last year’s tournament, the regions have been divided into five zones, Western Area, Kono, Makeni, Bo and Kenema.
50 teams in all will participate in the entire competition with the best selected players from each region in each category going to the nationals to be hosted in Makeni.
Konteh further explains about what is at stake as he said: “We’ll select the best players in both categories to represent Sierra Leone at the Airtel Pan African tournament in Nigeria.”
He added: “The selection of players will start from the regional tournaments and will continue to the nationals.”
This is different from last year’s competition when the winners of both categories represented Airtel Sierra Leone in Nairobi.
In the inaugural competition in 2011 two players from each category were selected to participate in a Manchester United clinic in Tanzania.
At the end of the tournament, more talents are expected to emerge for the future of Sierra Leone football.
The West Area tournament continues on Friday with five matches in both categories. See fixtures below
Friday 28th June 2013
GirlsYoung Stars Vs Med United Mamoud FC Vs Pama Queens
BoysBureh FC Vs Kallon FC Rural Kings Vs Real Friends Area Best Vs Med Man’s
Thursday 27th June 2013
BoysArea Best 2-0 Bureh FC Med Man’s 1-0 Rural Kings
GirlsMahmoud FC 4-1 Young Stars Pama Queens 1-2 Med United
Photocredits and Article By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown
Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!
© 2013, https:. All rights reserved.