“I ran into it”: Push to help Tanzania’s untapped football talent | Soccer

WMichael Noon walked alone from Old Trafford to Wembley Stadium on Boxing Day and raised money for the Football Academy in Tanzania for the first time he embarked on a journey into the unknown. There was not. A 37-year-old youth coach with experience working in schools in Manchester, the United States and Canada, when he arrived in East Africa in March 2020, he was “looking for a change in my life.”

“I just happened to find it,” he says. “I just brought my backpack and wandered a bit because nothing was organized. I started volunteering at this orphanage, participated in several games and the football culture is unbelievable. I’ve noticed that I’ve been coaching for years and used to play with people from East Africa, who say they have a very untapped talent here. That’s why I came here out of curiosity above all … “

No one started teaching a group of players in Mivmoni, a small town about 300km north of Dar es Salaam, one of the poorest areas in Tanzania. From under 8 to under 18 years old.

“Every week, more and more people continue to join our group,” he says. “What started out as casual, now I want to stay and help.”

Not only does it provide coaching and equipment to the growing academy, but anyone who spends time between Mivmoni and Manchester rents two local homes for some players to live in and regularly supplies clean water. I am trying to do it.

“When I first got here, they were all sleeping in a house of more than 20 people and had a really high level of malaria,” he says. “Our project is in a very poor area with high levels of typhoid fever, malaria and dysentery, so it’s really hard for them. I’m awake at night because I want to improve everything. After all, there was also a hostel to help them sleep somewhere. “

A player from the young Route One Academy in Tanzania. Photo: Michael Noone

No one adds. “My goal is to improve the environment and show off the abilities of these players. The skill level here is really high. I’m just starting to get a lot of attention here in the tournament.”

The recent convocation of star player Mahmood Kanyota to a team of boys under the age of 17 in Tanzania is a further evaluation of the academy, and a recent application to a charity has led to his growing relationship with the national football association. No one wants to be able to build. “When we’re on the map, it’s a real option,” he says. “Many of our players don’t have the right paperwork, so we had to start working on it.”

After running out of savings to get the academy on track, a series of funding challenges over the past few months, such as running from Anfield to Old Trafford and a spectacular walk to the football homes that ended in the New Year. No one has worked on it. Day.

“I ran about 35 miles a day on average. The soles are still falling! There was a so much rain spell that I did it at a really ridiculous moment … but I I enjoyed it strangely. At first I had some friends, but most of them were myself. I just went for it. When I got to Wembley Way, how many people at Box Park I met that mate, and I was really having a hard time. It was great to drink that first beer, but in the end I stopped by! “

The effort has raised about £ 1,500, but no one estimates that it will cost him about £ 800 a month to continue the academy, so his need for more funding is clear.

Michael Noon in Robin Hood Bay, Yorkshire at the end of his latest fundraiser.
Michael Noon in Robin Hood Bay, Yorkshire at the end of his latest fundraiser.
Photo: Michael Noone

“I asked everyone I knew to put in something I could donate,” he says. “My friend sponsored the shirt and some local companies in the UK were also very generous.”

Cargo, including 25 new Crystal Palace kits donated by the Premier League Club, is heading to Mivmoni. After completing the latest fundraiser last week, no one regained the training equipment and boots given to them by members of the Manchester United Women’s Team. A shore-to-shore walk at the climax of Robin Hood Bay in Yorkshire.

The short fight at Aston Villa in 2020 made Mubwana Samatta the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League, but with the right opportunities for local players, more opportunities will come. No one believes.

“I often tell players that the chances of achieving it at the highest level are small, but there are incredibly good 11-year-old players here,” he says. “I would be very happy if I could find a way for someone like him.”

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