Sports

Airtel Rising Stars is back to produce talents

28 June 2013 at 04:22 | 4864 views

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown.

This time every year, since 2011 Sierra Leoneans are blessed with the
opportunity to look out for young talents in the Airtel Rising Stars
tournament. The Western Area version is underway.

It started on Wednesday at the Sierra Leone Football Association
(SLFA) academy synthetic turf, with stars beginning to emerge in both
the male and female categories. Only players under the age of 17 years
are qualified to participate.

Adama Kargbo, a 9-year old class five pupil of Baptist Primary School
at Waterloo was impressive in her first game in tournament when her side
Pama Queens played against Med United.

She was the youngest on the pitch and is believed to be the youngest
ever to have ever played in the Airtel Rising Stars competition since its
inception.

Although they lost 2-1, she captured the eyes of fans with her dribbling
skills that led her to score the consolation goal for Pama Queens.

Raymond Coker, a FIFA referee who is a member of the technical
committee of the tournament says he was impressed by the performance of
Kargbo and her future is bright if she chooses football as her career.

“She has shown that she’s a talent and that’s what the Airtel Risng
Stars is all about- to identify talents,” Coker added.

Already established stars from previous tournaments are also doing
what they are known for and it came as no surprise when defending
Champions in the female category Mahmoud FC (photo) thrashed Young Tigers 4-1
in the opening game.

Mahmoud FC clearly dominated the game with Fatmata Mansaray, Magrette
Sesay, Rashidatu Kamara and Hawanatu Conteh accounting for a goal
each.

The proprietor of Mamoud FC Mahmoud Macky said he was confident that his team would retain their Western Area title because they have the best and
experienced players.

There were two matches in the boys’ category on day one; Area Best
defeated Bureh FC 2-0 whilst Rural Kings lost 1-0 to Med Man’s.

One of the tournament’s organisers John Konteh is hoping to have a
good tournament. He said: “We are hoping to have a smooth tournament
as we hope all teams will comply with the regulations.”

“We’re also hoping that Airtel Rising Stars season three will be
better than Seasons one and two in terms of everything.”

Konteh says this years’ Airtel Rising Stars competition will take
place in both regional and national stages.

Like last year’s tournament, the regions have been divided into five
zones, Western Area, Kono, Makeni, Bo and Kenema.

50 teams in all will participate in the entire competition with the
best selected players from each region in each category going to the
nationals to be hosted in Makeni.

Konteh further explains about what is at stake as he said: “We’ll
select the best players in both categories to represent Sierra Leone
at the Airtel Pan African tournament in Nigeria.”

He added: “The selection of players will start from the regional
tournaments and will continue to the nationals.”

This is different from last year’s competition when the winners of
both categories represented Airtel Sierra Leone in Nairobi.

In the inaugural competition in 2011 two players from each category
were selected to participate in a Manchester United clinic in
Tanzania.

At the end of the tournament, more talents are expected to emerge for
the future of Sierra Leone football.

The West Area tournament continues on Friday with five matches in both
categories. See fixtures below:

Fixtures

Friday 28th June 2013

Girls

Young Stars Vs Med United

Mamoud FC Vs Pama Queens

Boys

Bureh FC Vs Kallon FC

Rural Kings Vs Real Friends

Area Best Vs Med Man’s

Results

Thursday 27th June 2013

Boys

Area Best 2-0 Bureh FC

Med Man’s 1-0 Rural Kings

Girls

Mahmoud FC 4-1 Young Stars

Pama Queens 1-2 Med United

Promising star, Adama Kargbo.

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