Some 50 boys and girls from across nine African nations were yesterday briefed on what they should expect from the Airtel Rising Stars soccer clinic run by Bharti Airtel Africa in partnership with the Manchester United Soccer Schools.
The clinic, which offers the top football talents from the Airtel Rising Stars tournament an opportunity to train with some of the finest coaches from Manchester United Soccer Schools, will run for one week beginning August 27.
The clinic will host the top talents from African countries including Burkina Faso, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania, says Airtel.
Airtel Africa’s general chief marketing officer Andre Beyers, Airtel Africa said the phase of the challenge ranks among one of the most important as it is through these types of clinic that the company strengthens its commitment in nurturing talents in Africa.
“We have a lot of great players on our continent and workshops like this give these players a chance to get take their talent to the next level and get a sense of how it feels to be a professional footballer,” he added.
Head coach Mathew Gregory in his opening remarks told the players they will learn how to “live, train and play the Manchester United way,” by going through seminars and coaching sessions that mimic those of the Club’s first team players.
He promised the players they would be treated as professional players, and in return, they must behave like professional players by playing special attention to their punctuality, discipline and commitment to the workshop.
Over the course of the week, Gregory and his team of three professional coaches from the Manchester United Soccer Schools will take the promising young talents through a series of courses that address everything from dribbling, attacking and defense, to health and fitness requirements of being a professional player.
The coaches will in addition emphasise the importance of a good education to the youth.
The Airtel Rising Stars tournament, which is currently in its second year running, concluded in a pan-African Championship Tournament last week during which the top boys and girls team from 15 participating market, faced each other for the grand prize of USD 10,000 to be used towards the players’ education.