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Players scouted in Talanta Hela to be featured in CECAFA U-18

Young talented football players scouted in the ongoing Talanta Hela Tournament in Nyeri county will play in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) cup.

According to Kenya Sports Academy senior principal in charge of technical personnel training, Grace Mitambo, the players will also help the country qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2030.

Speaking at the Moi Complex Primary School where the play-offs entered day two, Mitambo said that the talent scouts are scouring for the best players in the participating teams. She said that the end goal will be to nurture the top players who will, later on, be used to strengthen local teams as the country gears up for the CECAFA under-18 event and World Cup qualifiers.

Busia (in red jerseys) and Marsabit (in blue jerseys) during Pool A matches of the ongoing Talanta Hela Football tournaments at the Moi Complex Primary School in Nyeri County. Busia beat Marsabit 2-0.

“Our intention is by the end of the tournament, other than having the eight teams that will join the winners in Nairobi, we believe that we will also have a pool of good players who will be coming to our holiday camps,” said Grace Mitambo.

“We trust that Kenya, come the next tournament, will be featured as one of the countries that is growing talent from a young age to the senior teams. Currently, we are targeting 16-19 years this is because we targeted Talanta Hela with the intention of them being placed in our youth team and more so for the country to use the best players to qualify for the CECAFA and World Cup 2030 tournaments,” she added.

During the second day of the playoffs, a total of four games were played. In the Pool A matches for girls, Busia beat Marsabit 2-0 while Uasin Gishu beat Migori 6-1.

Under Pool B for girls, Machakos County girls beat Mombasa County 2-0 to win their second pool match. While Nyandarua beat Kiambu county by 1-0.

In the boys’ Pool A category, Mandera County beat Nairobi County 1-0 while Uasin Gishu beat their Kwale counterparts 3-0. In the pool B boys’ playoffs, Homabay County beat Nakuru 2-0. Kakamega carried the day by beating Embu County 4-0.

The games continue on Saturday when the Busia county girls’ team will take on Uasin Gishu in the Pool A matches while Mombasa will battle it out with Nyandarua in Pool B matches. In the boys’ pool fixtures, Nairobi will play against Uasin Gishu in Pool A while Nakuru County will play against Embu in Pool B.

The semi-finals are set for November 21, third place play-offs on November 22 before the finals on the same date.

By Wangari Mwangi

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