Botswana Football Association (BFA) is happy with the strides they have made in their Under 15 (U15) Elite Youth Development Programme.
The development programme, which was prepared with the help of FIFA development expert, Govinden Thondoo, commenced on the 4th of November last year (2017).
Through the programme, the BFA seeks to identify and develop talent as a conveyor belt for both the junior and eventually senior national teams.
Speaking in an interview, BFA Marketing and Communications Officer Tumo Mpatane said through the programme, the association seeks to create a pool of talented players who will be continuously groomed for national team duties.
Under the programme, the BFA has created two league zones, the East and South, from which ten teams per regional league will compete against each other in a league system format.
At the end of the league, the two regions will then be expected to select at least two regional teams each.
“In August 2018, the four regional teams will gather at a training camp and have tournament amongst themselves after which a final selection and building of the Under 16 National Team will take place,” the BFA Marketing and Communications Officer explained.
“BFA introduced the elite youth League last year to improve on regional teams and ensure high level competition for the best perfoming players. The development structure is a pilot project therefore we have 20 teams, 10 each region. The elite youth league is a feeder to the national Under 15 as players at U15 play to gather the best talent and improve more.”
Going forth, Mpatane said the intention will be to have the programme rolled out through all the BFA regions. He said financial constraints and lack of equipment have been major impediments to rolling out the programme nationwide.
On women football, Mpatane said as the league is still on a trial phase, they do not have women’s teams yet but the association has intentions to include women football.
On other issues related to football development, Mpatane said the association’s ambitious grassroots development is still gaining momentum.
“The youth league development programme has around 204 teams registered around the country, there have been many others who have expressed interest in joining and we are hopeful many teams will have joined next season,” he concluded.