“It behooves any country with serious aspirations on the world soccer scene to entrust the development of its young players to the pros,” wrote Leander Schaerlaeckens, a soccer analyst for ESPN.

Schaerlaeckens was referring to the United States of America (USA)’s Major League Soccer’s ongoing struggle to produce homegrown talent like its European and South American counterparts.

For nearly a century, clubs in England, Spain and Brazil, among others, and few countries in the African continent such as Nigeria and Egypt have relied on their youth systems to scout and develop young players.

But like in the US, Botswana’s youth structures are not up to scratch.

Local clubs plying their trade in the be MOBILE Premier League have heavily relied on foreign players in their bid to turn their teams into formidable sides.

“But this does not mean that we do not have talent in Botswana,” said Innocent Luzile, who intends to set-up a soccer academy in the northeastern part of the country.

“As a teacher, it is easy to disseminate information in such a way that a younger player could easily grasp the concept of football skills,” he said.

It is sunset and the weather is conducive for a training session.

The boys start with jogging and go on to pass the ball around.

Luzile keeps his eyes fixed on the young and potential future soccer players passing the ball around on the pitch.
“The boys have got a lot of potential and my dream is to nurture them should the academy become a reality,” said an optimistic Luzile.

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