The registration window for the Airtel Rising Stars U-17football talent scouting climaxes on Wednesday in all regions of Ilala, Kinondoni, Temeke, Arusha, Mbeya and Lindi.
A total of 24 teams are expected to compete at the regional level that will be followed by the national finals to be held in Dar es Salaam in July.
The regions have been selected to participate in this tournament on the basis of their impressive performance in the recent National Secondary School Games (UMISSETA).
Former Manchester United striker Quinton Fortune launched the ARS second season in Dar es Salaam early this month.
What makes this year’s ARS tournament unique and interesting is the inclusion of six girls’ teams during the national festival.
“Airtel has decided to include girls so as to give them opportunity to develop their football talents and provide the national women team, Twiga Stars, with a reliable source of replenishing players,” said Airtel marketing director Cheikh Sarr.
While the boys’ players need to excel at the regional level in order to be selected for the national finals, a girls’ team from each of the listed regions automatically sails through, which beefs up the number of teams in the finals to be 12, six from either category.
“We are proud to nature young talents and that the exciting time we have been waiting is finally here. This is the time to produce Tanzania stars,” Sarr said.
The regional matches are scheduled to kick off on May 25 with Dar es Salaam featuring nine teams drawn from Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke.
The teams are Twiga Secondary, Goba and Makongo High School (Kinondoni), Mbande Secondary, Kurasini and Kiravi Secondary (Temeke) while Ilala will be represented by Airwing, Benjamin Mkapa and Msongola secondary schools.
Other teams are Southern Highland Secondary, Mbeya Day High School and Wenda Secondary (Mbeya), Lindi Secondary, Mpunyule Secondary and Ngowe Secondary (Lindi).
Arusha will be represented by Sinoni Secondary, Kaloleni and Bishop Durning Secondary School.
ARS football program is an initiative designed for the entire African continent aimed to provide a platform for upcoming soccer talent to showcase their skills to leading scouts, coaches and have an opportunity to further their football skills.
It is a joint partnership between Airtel and English Premiership Club Manchester United.
Last year, Manchester United utilised its school coaching staff to conduct international football clinics in Tanzania, South Africa and Gabon where selected participants learned techniques of playing football the United way.
A similar clinic will be held in Nairobi latter in August for English speaking countries, including Tanzania.
Nairobi will also play host to the ARS inter-continental tournament that will bring together ARS champion teams from 14 countries where Airtel operates.