Former 1,500 metres record holder who is now National Sports Council (NSC) technical director Filbert Bayi has said soccer clubs in the country should set up under 14 and 17 teams as part of developing football.
Bayi said football clubs in the country are struggling to develop talents because they do not have academies to cater for talent development.
He said investing in teen soccer has been a top priority by most of the countries in the world.
Establishments of academies where talents are natured and the resultant products will be useful to replace ageing players.
Bayi said his technical committee has agreed to instruct all sports coaches in the country to take keen interest in the youth teams and build up inventory of players to replenish the senior teams.
Bayi said premier league football clubs should set up under 14 and 17 teams as part of the development program, which has to be in line with grassroots development program.
“We had a meeting recently underlined the need for all sports coaches in the country to have a good and comprehensive youth program or establish academies where talents are to be nurtured and developed,” he said.
Besides soccer, Bayi hinted that the country has many good places suitable for opening athletic training centers, namely Arusha and Singida.
Bayi also took a swipe at companies that sponsor football tournaments and activities, saying they venture in for the sake of public relations and marketing strategy but not developing the game.
He said if the companies were serious in football development they would have opened academies where sports talents would have been nurtured and developed.
He said the country should take a leaf from Zambia which is reaping fruits of investing in youth football development.
He gave an example of Kenya and Ethiopia where he said athletics has flourished because of their academies and West African countries where football is fully developed basing on the same reasons.
However, he hailed Coca-Cola Company for sponsoring the Copa tournament which is at the helm of promoting football from the teen age.
The Copa youth championship has helped to develop many young football players with the bulk featuring in the premiership.
He made a call to the Coca-Cola and the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to think over having a joint academy where the players identified from the tournament would be kept together and trained by well versed development coaches before transferring them to top flight sides.
Bayi’s sentiments are in agreement with TFF technical director Sunday Kayuni who recently rued the absence of academies and sound youth football development at club level.
Kayuni said many good players in the world are nurtured at academies and youth teams.
He said naturally national team coaches need players who were trained on all basics and skills of football and other techniques from their academies to shorten and ease training at camps.
The TFF director said many players trained at football academies have a good technical ability, attitude, good personal behavior and time respect.