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‘Slum boys’ win the inaugural Central Memorial Hospital Cup.

Tarun Revoo presenting the winners' trophy to the captain of Blue Tigers after the slum boys beat their rivals Angaza FC 1-0 in the finals on Sunday at the Thika Stadium.
Kiandutu based “Blue Tigers” emerged winners of the Inaugural Central Memorial Hospital U14 Cup Tournament at the Thika Sub-County Stadium on Sunday with a thrilling 1-0 final victory over fellow slum boys “Angaza FC”.     

13-year old Emanuel Okubasu scored the winner in the second half from a corner to lead the ‘Tigers’ the trophy and eventually clinching the ‘Best Player’ accolade.

Kabati Youth FC were third with Jutam FC from Juja coming fourth

All the five youngsters who were selected for Barcelona Youth trials in Karen Nairobi participated in the tourney  

Other than win the tournament, Blue Tigers dominated the individual awards as Wariki Nyaga was voted the best striker with Boniface Wambua winning the Best Defender accolade.

Angaza FC’s Gabriel Kibui won the ‘Golden Boot’ with four goals in the tournament. Other winners included Euticas Muriuki – Best Midfielder (Imara FC, Nairobi), Malcolm Loito – Defender (Jutam FC, Juja) and Ian Nderito – Goalkeeper (Thika Youth).

Others recognised as the most promising players in their departments included Collins Ingoi – Goalkeeper (Santos FC, Thika), Titus Mulwa – Midfield (Visions) and John Mambo – Striker (Young Estonia).

The three-day tournament attracted 15 teams from across Thika Sub-County, Juja and Kenol in Murang’a County with special appearance by Imara Daima FC from Nairobi County.

On behalf of the sponsors, Tarun Revoo was very optimistic that in the years to come, this tournament will be expanded to include teams from across the country with the aim of boosting youth football development in the country and fighting immorality and drug abuse among the youth.

He decried the ‘death’ of youth football in the country as most stakeholders only concentrated on selected players from renown youth academies and established teams, forgetting there existed too much untapped raw talent in the slums and rural establishments.

“If you provide these boys with the right training and the right infrastructure, they can end up being one of the best footballers not only in Kenya but also in the world. There is too much untapped talent in the grassroots which eventually go to waste and at times end up in drug abuse or crime,” said Tarun.

He reckoned that the greatest challenge in Kenyan football lied squarely on the elitist approach to  both talent search and talent nurturing and challenged football bodies in Kenya, local companies and both the county and national governments to embrace a more holistic approach to issues touching on the youth.

On his part, William Ndung’u who was the chairperson of the organising committee termed the tournament a step in the right direction.

“As the organisers, we remain committed to developing youth football and it is our belief that this tournament marks a new chapter for Kenyan youth development. We are extremely grateful to Central Memorial Hospital and Kenya School of Medical Science and Technology for making it a reality,” said Ndung’u.

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