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The resurrection of Ghana’s juvenile football could help spot unique talents which otherwise would have been made to decay

The resurrection of Ghana’s Juvenile football could help spot unique talents which otherwise would have been made to decay.

National Juvenile League

The Juvenile football league is scheduled to commence early this month of May after a meeting held in Accra by the National Juvenile Committee detailed its execution.

After a long, enforced absence of grassroots football, formerly well-known as Colts football, a revamped version would have us witness young teens in our various districts display with a familiar thrill their raw, crude talent.

This is, after all, a step in the right direction. That after long periods where deep scars were painfully etched on to our football souls under the stewardship of the infamous Kwesi Nyantakyi, who consciously and with little dignity drove Ghana football into entropy and nearly made it extinct, a new dawn beckons for us all under Kurt Okraku’s guidance.

And so the revival of the Juvenile football league is not just a flimsy attempt to regress to old habits and culture, but symbolizes hope, faith, belief that young talents across the country would be unearthed, harnessed and honed. That the innate potential and skill ingrained in these lads wandering aimlessly around in our various communities will not be made to decay and left untapped.

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This is essentially the fundamental purpose of the revamped Juvenile football league. Football, as ever, is a universal currency of this country. Men adore it. Women like it. Children crave it.

Take a quick stroll across town, drift towards the deserted corners of your immediate vicinity, and you will discover for yourself the alacrity and buoyant eagerness with which schoolboys kick a football around, their grim competitiveness while at it.

This has been the noble, unadulterated truth, that the nation and football are inseparable, are interwoven, are intermixed. It is critical that these adolescents are gifted the opportunity to train after school. To inculcate in them the simple yet demanding mechanics of the art of football.

Adolescents are strangely curious creatures. They want to explore things. They want to experience things. They want to practice what they see on television and what they hear. They are often highly impulsive and their curiosity level unreasonably tall. At this stage in life, one’s grasping power is perhaps at its zenith. And so it’s imperative they are given the adequate resources and guidance to enable them figure out their greatest qualities at such a tender age.And yet the absence of the Juvenile football league will only impinge on the local top-flight league. In the absence of Juvenile football, an avenue for the infinite, endless production and supply of skillful young talents to the GPL clubs, how sustainable is the local top-flight league? And if the local top-flight league lies in ruins, what’s there to make of the senior team, the Black Stars?

The significance of Juvenile football can’t possibly be overstated. Consider, for example, the all-conquering Ghana U20 team who in 2009 flew to Egypt and battered its rivals en route to winning its first ever FIFA u20 World Cup, the continent’s first ever as well. This team was heavily stuffed with gripping, exciting prospects who beguiled many with their flamboyance and outright seductive craft. That particular FIFA u20 World Cup final against Brazil, in microcosm, encapsulated that Black Satellite team: of how deeply talented they were, of how mentally fortified they were.

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A few players of that Black Satellite side, namely - Daniel Agyei, Samuel Inkoom, Jonathan Mensah, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Andre Dede Ayew, Dominic Adiyiah – went on to feature for the Black Stars the following year in that unforgettable 2010 World Cup in South Africa where the senior national team were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Uruguay. And to date, remains the most overwhelmingly compelling display of any Black Stars side in a World Cup tournament.All this is to say, Juvenile football is gravely essential.

The refinement of young talents across the country only allows the top-flight league to function properly. And with the proper functioning of the local league, innumerable talents could be exported abroad and to Europe for that matter. And, with the long-termism in mind, it bodes well for the senior national team call-ups, and helps make available a bottomless pool of first-class players from which we could assemble our final, most talented squad for major international competitions. Young talents should not be made to rot, and the resurrection of Juvenile football may well aid to ensure that.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the private views of the contributors and do not reflect the views of the organization Pulse.

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