Developing Youth Soccer In Liberia

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Developing Youth Soccer In Liberia

Post by Titi12 on Fri May 09, 2008 10:56 am

Hi and I hope all is well!

Below are excrepts from a letter I wrote last year to Liberiansoccer.com.

First of all, I would like to applaud/congratulate you guys on your work and efforts in keeping us informed by the wonderful job you're doing with the Liberian Soccer web page. Congrats and keep up the good work!

Also, thanks to Coach Hey for coming on this new forum or chat zone. To be honest, I'm still a bit upset about the Liberian government spending all that money on Coach Hey or football when there are so many Liberians suffering to survive in Liberia. Liberians need more than just football! Oh well, with that said, I hope the Liberian goverment is looking for sponsors to pay Coach Hey's salary because it would be a great injustice to Liberians as a whole to spend goverment money like that during these tough times.

Anyway, I've said my peace! Now to tebelleh! I live outside of Charlotte, North Carolina and I'm a youth soccer coach in South Carolina so I'm very concern about our Liberian youth soccer landscape if there's any.

A little info about me: Before the war, I played youth soccer in Monrovia for Mandela Defenders out of Barnersville Estate. Anthony Jomah Ballah was a team mate of mine and I play against the likes of Eugene Gray, Christopher Wreh, Ayo Peters etc. Anyway, I'm a huge tebellah fan and I visit www.liberiansoccer.com everyday in order to follow the Liberian soccer news.

I think about a few years ago, I posted a comment/topic in the old forum about developing youth soccer in Liberia and I didn't get much thread so now I just read the different topics/threads to stay inform or get my daily laughs.

The LFA needs to seriously look into developing youth soccer or else Liberia won't be able to compete competitively on the international stage in the next 10 years because we don't have youth teams competing now that will be groomed for the future. Please post a topic about developing youth soccer in Liberia in the Liberian Soccer chat room or forum.

Oh by the way, the Lone Star and LFA needs to start keeping tabs on Liberian kids that are playing soccer in the USA. For Example, Alex Nimo and Adama Wakai are in the USA U17 and U15 national team camps respectively. These kids are getting darn good training and exposure by traveling overseas with their USA youth club teams. Alex has traveled to South America and Adama has traveled to Germany, Switzerland, and England. Last summer, Adama's club team headed to Liverpool for training.

There's a very talented Liberian kid who plays for Winthrop University and he's only 21 years old. His name is Otto Loewy and he's a darn good midfielder. If Liberia ever plays friendlies, Otto, Willis Forko, & Sandi Gbandi should be invited just so the coach can take a look at them. I know the Liberian people don't have a lot of faith in American trained soccer players, but Otto is a very very good defensive/holding midfielder and I think he'll make formidable midfield partnership with Dulee. Otto also traveled with his youth club team to England and Germany before going to college.

Personally, I believe that Liberia needs to stop focusing only on the 2010 World Cup. We as Liberians are too fixated on short-term and immediate goals/results instead of preparing and building for sustained growth or long term growth and the future.

The problem is that the LFA doesn't have any long term goals or plans of continuing to develop the Lone Star. If the Lone Star doesn't qualify for 2010 WC which could most definitely happen, the LFA will wait until after the 2010 WC before they start planning for 2014. Typical example, after Lone Star missed out on 2002 WC, the team fell apart because there was no foundation/structure from the LFA. There were a lot of good young players to build with, but instead, the Lone Star became a disgrace. If the LFA had planned well and prepared for the future, those young players could've currently be making Liberia/Liberians proud as we speak. There are no gradual/systematic goals for the LFA and the Lone Star. Maybe Caoch Hey might try to implement a true youth program or structure because that's what Liberian soccer really needs

I think the LFA and the Lone Star need to have goals more like this:
2010 Goal....................ACN definitely & maybe WC in S. Africa
2012 Goal....................ACN 2nd-3rd round & Olympics
2014 Goal....................ACN 3rd-4th round & WC in Brazil

With such a road map you will have the time to develop players and you'll see gradual progress. The quick fix attitude will just continue to cause us all heart aches because there aren't any planned/stated attainable goals.

The LFA also needs to start focusing on participating in the regional and continental youth tournaments and championships especially the U17 because they can build for the future from a core/pool of about 50 players.
In order to get the 50 players, the MYS in collaboration with the LFA needs to find an international sponsor and turn that darn county meet tournament into a national U16-17 tournament where each county is represented by youths form their county. No contract players (i.e. Bassa pekin only plays for Bassa County). The MYS & LFA needs to be soliciting sponsorship from companies such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Coca-Cola, Firestone/Bridgestone, Mittal Steel, etc or even the EU, US Soccer Federation, and other European Soccer Federation such as the Germans, Dutch, Swedes, etc. George Weah could help in this area if he truly loves or care about the Liberian people and tebelleh in Liberia.

In 1988 and 1989, I played with Mandela Defenders in an U16 tournament that was sponsored by the German Embassy and Coca-Cola. We finished 2nd in 1988 and 3rd in 1989. If I'm not mistaken, I think that tournament helped promote most of the current Liberian players that are now between the ages of 32-36 who are now on the football scene in Liberia.

Anyway, take care and sorry for the long email, but I would love to see our beloved tebellah improve and regain its place in African football and the only way that will happen is if we have a strong youth program. I hope this get some thread because I'm concern about the future of our Liberian football.

Thanks and God bless!

Titi12

Number of posts : 37
Location : Charlotte, NC
Registration date : 2008-05-09

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Re: Developing Youth Soccer In Liberia

Post by solomon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:09 am

i will love to join your team in liberia .i am a young nigeria player and i saw your team profile so i will love come over to liberia

solomon

Number of posts : 5
Location : abidjan
Registration date : 2009-12-17

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