THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) said the establishment of Under-18 and Under-19 age group national teams will help a lot to create a good channel for young players before they join Under- 20 national team.
This was disclosed recently by the federation's Technical Director, Oscar Mirambo, who said the development comes after learning that there was a big gap that young players had to undergo after playing for Under- 17 Serengeti Boys.
"Previously, it was hard for a youth player who played in U-17 competition to get a direct chance of playing in the U-20 squad because of physical demand that is why we saw it fruitful to establish the age categories of U-18 and U-19 respectively to accommodate them," he said.
He added that the process will ensure that when a player gets a chance to join the U-20 team he must have gone through all the required age groups meaning that his understanding of the game will be perfect.
He, however, pointed out that the challenge of establishing the named age groups is that most countries especially in Africa do not have them in their programmes as such, competitions for U-18 and U-19 national teams are very rare.
"Last season, for the first time, we had a chance to play in the U-18 competition in Egypt and it is from there where the idea of putting much focus on the stipulated age groups was intensified," he said.
He added that TFF has been on the front gear to advice Mainland Premier League clubs with good youth programmes to absorb as many young players as possible as a step not to lose them with their talents.
"Teams like Azam FC, Mtibwa Sugar and even Coastal Union among others have good youth academy development procedures and they help us a lot to nurture skills of youth players who without a doubt will be useful ingredients for the senior team Taifa Stars," Mirambo said.
He then disclosed that the majority of Serengeti Boys players who played in the 2019 U-17 AFCON edition are absorbed at Azam FC youth team due to their good works they do in uplifting youth football.
"Some people have been questioning about the whereabouts of Serengeti Boys players who represented the country during the past AFCON edition with others believing that they have been lost on the sport scene but that is not the case since we still have them and they are active on the pitch," he said.
In the same token, the former Serengeti Boys key striker Kelvin John said he feels upset to find out that most of his teammates whom he played together in the 2019 U-17 Africa Youth Championship (AYC) are wandering on street with no team to play for.