Malinzi challenged premier and first division league teams to treat the search as a scouting platform for their second strings.
“This tournament provides a good opportunity for clubs to come and identify talents to recruit for their teams,” he said.
Apart from being an avenue for realization of football talents, the search also promotes active lifestyles for the participating boys and girls.
“Active lifestyle enables the starlets to cope up well with their school curriculums,” he stated. He told the keen youthful footballers drawn from Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke that by excelling in football they will be creating reliable employment for themselves.
Malinzi reminded them to look at how football has transformed the life of Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu, affirming that soccer gives employment to millions of youths and officials around the world.
He called on coaches to select best players for the coming national finals based on merit and not on ‘know who’. “I understand you have your relatives and friends’ kids but don’t allow this to interfere with selection of best players for this tournament”, he said.
On his part, Airtel Tanzania Managing Director Sunil Colaso thanked football stakeholders for according Airtel Rising Stars top priority, urging clubs to use the talents realized through the project.
“We are very delighted to be associated with football in Tanzania and across Africa and we are particularly happy that clubs and national teams are now enjoying the fruits of this program,” said Colaso, expressing company commitment to continue supporting football in Tanzania.
The regional tournament featuring Ilala, Temeke, Kinondoni, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mwanza, Lindi, Zanzibar and Arusha will culminate into national finals scheduled to be held at Karume Memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam from September 6 to 11.