Rising Stars unearths fresh talent
After a nationwide field of over 7 000 junior players took to various pitches in district trials, the 2012 FAZ Airtel Rising Stars has entered the final stretch with Football Association of Zambia confident that the programme has helped unearth fresh talent.
From the 10th of July, the young players selected from the district assessment games will get together to compete at the provincial selection trials – a significant step in the phase and dream of the young players’ desire to be the next Chipolopolo rising stars.
The provincial trials will narrow down the huge fields of young players to just 18. The 18 players selected from each province will represent their respective provinces at the national championships.
The national championships will be held in Lusaka from 16th to 20th July. They will be used to select players for the Zambia U17 national team.
The Zambia U17 is competing in the CAF African Junior Championships which also serve as the qualifiers for the Under 17 FIFA World Cup finals which will be held later next year.
The successful hosting of district trials has since elated Airtel and FAZ.
FAZ Media and Communications Manager Erick Mwanza said “The Football Association of Zambia would like to commend the FAZ and Airtel coordinators across the districts who have been working extremely hard to ensure the success of this huge tournament.”
“When you hold championships like these, you may have one or two challenges but these have been dealt effectively well to ensure that all trials progressed on time. We are therefore pleased to announce that following the conclusion of the district trials, the players who were selected are now going another step towards being identified as the next big rising ‘stars’ of Zambian football, the future stars of the Chipolopolo.”
Mwanza said that after review of the district selections and initial reports from the technical staff assigned to monitor the games and assist the coordinators, Football House was happy that the expectation of the national governing body in unearthing young talents through the 2012 FAZ-ARS had been attained.
“The Airtel rising stars championship has provided us a wonderful platform for our technical experts to work with as many young players from all corners of the country. From the preliminary reports we have received from all the districts, the trials have been a huge success. We have hundreds of young players ready to compete and ready to start working their way up the football ladder,” Mwanza added.
“We are now at the stage where each province is putting together its main provincial side for the finals in Lusaka. In effect we will have ten teams with potential of competing at the highest junior level. With that kind of broad selection, we will have a huge pool of juniors which will make it possible for us to have two excellent under-17 Zambia teams as we did with the two under 20 which won the Cosafa and reached the finals of the SADC games.”