Football Association of Malawi (FAM) technical director (TD) John Kaputa says he is impressed with the progress of Fifa/FAM Under-15 leagues in the country.
Kaputa was speaking at the weekend in the Eastern Region when he watched games involving Zomba Urban, Phalombe, Chiradzulu and Zomba Rural. He said the initiative is gradually gaining momentum after the games started two weeks ago.
The leagues are being played in 18 pilot districts across the country.
The FAM TD added that the youngsters are now able to display the basics of football imparted to them by their coaches.
“I was looking at the individual performance of each player, the officiation of the younger referees as well as the coaches. They are in the learning process and if this can receive support from various stakeholders, it would be a big thing in the development of football in the country,” he said.
Kaputa said players who graduate from the junior league set-up, find it easy to adapt to the demands of the senior level. Kaputa, who was accompanied by FAM liaison officer James Sangala, appealed to the coaches of the teams not to be result-oriented, but develop the players along with the basics of football.
“This is the right age to teach them how to pass the ball, defend and attack, and also ball control. It is worrisome to see a player at senior level failing to pass or control the ball. It has to start at this level,” he said.
During the games, Zomba Urban drew 1-1 with Phalombe whereas Zomba Rural beat Chiradzulu 2-1. In other games, Mangochi were 4-2 winners over Machinga. In the Central Region, Nkhotakota 1 Salima 2, Lilongwe Rural West 2 Mchinji 2 and Ntcheu 0 Lilongwe Rural East 1. n