FAM says it will in November this year launch a Talent Development Scheme (TDS), a programme aimed at producing quality players for the Flames through a structured player development pathway, at its Luwinga premises in Mzuzu to test the feasibility of establishing a fully fledged school of excellence at the facility next year.
The Association’s President Walter Nyamilandu Manda disclosed this on Friday afternoon when he inspected the progress of constructing two state of art pitches at the facility.
Malawi was selected alongside Mauritania and Djibouti for a new FIFA programme in Africa to set up inclusive football academies that will also teach youngsters how to prepare for life outside the four lines of the pitch.
The programme, run by FIFA and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and implemented by the NGO PLAY International and the Senegal-based Diambars Institute, is intended to make the most of football’s ability to teach life skills such as commitment and teamwork. It aims to prepare academy players to be future citizens, bearing in mind that only a tiny proportion will become professional footballers, and broaden their economic and professional horizons through football, empower them and ensure their employability.
Nyamilandu said: “We are so far impressed with the progress by the contractor in putting up the two top pitches here at Luwinga. They will plant grass by July and the pitches will be ready for use by November. We are currently scouting talent in the Northern region to set up a TDS in November as pilot for the academy.
“The TDS program is currently piloting in the southern region and was to be launched in the other two regions next year, but we will bring it forward in the north to November so that we test how we will set the academy next year.
“We already have hostels here and what was remaining were the pitches as football as all about having good playing surface. So by November we will have about 28 boys and 28 girls under the TDS programme.
“The establishment of an academy is a game changer for Malawi football. This partnership with FIFA/AFD will set us apart and position us for greatness. The spin-offs of this project are huge as it will transform lives of our players socially and economically. We cannot wait for the revolution to gather momentum as we step up a gear to produce quality players with exceptional talent.”