MFA Expands Geographic Reach

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MFA assistant coach Naomi Peters leads the academy’s first team in a warm up (photo credit: Aaron Chongyoon Nah)

After ending the 2016-2017 school year with 47 students from Montserrado County, the Monrovia Football Academy has expanded its geographic reach, with 70 students representing three of Liberia’s 15 counties.

The academy previously started with 16 boys and 11 girls from Central Monrovia.

According to MFA Director Will Smith, as part of the academy’s recruitment plan for the new academic year, the administration decided to recruit the additional students from outside Montserrado to expand the school’s geographic presence in the 2017-2018 school year.

In the 2017-18 school year, the academy has grown from 47 students and three academic grades to 70 students (41 boys, 29 girls), ages 8-14, in grades 3-6. The 23 newly recruited students were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants from three different counties, the MFA says.

After weeks of print and electronic media advertisement and community outreach, the academy on July 4 of this year started its new recruitment process from outside Montserrado.

A team of five staff members began the process in Harbel, Margibi County and later traveled to Buchanan and the Doris Williams Sports Stadium, where they conducted tryouts, entrance exams and interviews.

Following thorough examinations and monitoring of players in a 5 vs. 5 football match, the academy selected six boys and two girls from Harbel, as well as one boy and two girls from Buchanan. According to the MFA, the 11 students recruited from Margibi and Grand Bassa are currently residing with a host family in Monrovia, and are expected to visit their families during school vacations and national holidays.

“We are thrilled about our geographic expansion. With three of Liberia’s 15 counties represented, we are now on our way to fulfilling a major goal to have students from all 15 counties of Liberia,” Will Smith said.

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