As previously stated in this column, Tanzania does not have an admirable track-record when it comes to developing youth football.
However, in recent years, things have notably changed for the better and new initiatives such as the Airtel Rising Stars tournament will surely help to consolidate the gains we have made as far as improving youth football is concerned.
Over the past several days, the Manchester United football schools’ head coach, Billy Miller has been in Dar es Salaam running workshops and clinics for the youngsters who were selected from the National Airtel Rising Stars championship earlier this year.
Indeed, this is an invaluable opportunity for these youngsters to pick the brain of this respected youth coach who oversees talent development at arguably the most famous football club in the world.
The local starlets can get tips on how to improve suspect areas of their game which ultimately, will make them better players in the future.
At this juncture, it is important to pay tribute to the prominent mobile phone company, Airtel for fully backing the rising stars initiative that hopefully will see a new crop of great players emerge from the youth ranks in the country.
This support is well appreciated by the local football fraternity as judging from our recent performances in the Nations Cup qualifiers, we still have a long way to go before we can be acknowledged as a veritable force on the continent.
Evolving into such a football heavyweight will require sound administration, patience and effective development programmes for the youth at the grassroots level.
Alluding to the last prerequisite for success in the afore-mentioned paragraph, it is highly significant that almost every major power in world football has a successful youth development programme.
But we all have to remember that this is a process that takes time and effort to come to fruition.
However, if we devote our efforts to this weighty task, we may end up reaping the rewards.