In recent years small countries have taken a route of building their own development structures in order to accommodate and harness some of the best talents from around the diaspora.
Malawi has made some progress with trying to set up academies and programmes that seek to develop the game of football in the country. FARPost looks at some of the academies and structures put in place to try to increase the quality of players in Malawi and give kids from all backgrounds equal lifetime opportunities.
With so many soccer academies popping up around Malawi, it’s only a matter of time before players start making it into Europe’s top leagues despite being a country of 18 million people.
The business of scouting players and developing them to make it at a professional level takes a lot of hard work, but with the right methods the end product can benefit those who invest in it massively. While it is still up for debate whether such practices are truly beneficial to players and the countries where they hail from, there is no doubt that more young African players being involved in such projects can only be a good thing, both for personal development and health reasons.
We zoom in at some of the sport academies and clubs who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible for Malawian youngsters as some of them try to break into the big leagues abroad.
There has been a major rise of some good football academies in Malawi over the last decade, as ex players return to their former stomping grounds with an intention of developing the stars of tomorrow, as well as filling the void left by the Surestream Academy that unfortunately closed its doors in 2016.
These days, one of the top academies in the game is Ascent Soccer, a project put together by former player George Maguire as well as Thom Mkolongo who acts as the academy’s director and first team coach. Another academy is the one set up recently by Malawian FA chief Walter Nyamilandu, which promises to be a state-of-the-art academy once it is fully up and running.
Other academies that are giving out quality levels of coaching and talent development include Play Football Malawi and the Kangaroo Academy, with the latter’s women’s side recently pulling off a huge shock win against the women’s national team in a friendly to test the national team who were recently involved in the COSAFA Cup held in South Africa.
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By Prince Sobayeni