Not many of Liberia’s soccer players benefited from soccer education through an academy, but they have become successful and they are called on to represent the country.
To grow up through an academy provides a structured upbringing where the youngster learns the elements of soccer by developing his individual talents. Today, there are thousands of talented young soccer players in the country who can benefit from a structured soccer education through an academy.
Of course, FIFA 1995 Ballon D’or Winner, George Weah, who sets the trail for many young Liberian players, did not have the opportunity to graduate from a soccer academy; he succeeded because of his passion and the support he got during his time.
Moreover, sports journalists made it their duty to promote talented youngsters, which encouraged their development. Currently, there is a newly established soccer academy in Monrovia that hosts at least 30 soccer students. The Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) is yet to have its own home-ground but is prepared and working to achieve that. It has a qualified staff of soccer technicians that include coaches.
The MFA was established in 2015 to provide quality soccer education to underprivileged and talented kids between the ages 9-12. It presently uses the Blue Field sports pitch owned by LFA national 1st division side BYC.
The MFA students are both males and females and they undergo skills training, individual tactics and are guided by professional coaches.
One of the coaches is Sekou Dgeorges Manubah, co-founder & head football coach, (known as Georgie). At a young age, he traveled to Oman and played as a center midfielder for Al-Seeb FC, Al-Tali’aa FC, and Al-Salam SC. After he left Oman, Georgie traveled to Vietnam and played for Binh Duong FC. He returned to Liberia in 2015 before moving on to Myanmar to play for Hantharwady United.
Throughout his professional career, Georgie said he has occasionally returned home to play for the national team. In addition, he has given back to his local community by coaching youth teams. Now that he has moved on from his professional career, Georgie is excited to be fulfilling his lifelong dream of coaching at the first football school in Liberia.
The MFA also supports initiatives that enable talented young athletes to be inspired by top professionals. Even the current U-14 national soccer coach Varmah Kpoto has acknowledged MFA’s contribution to the development of young talents in the country.
“I was very impressed with ten-year-olds playing constructively. This shows that we need lots of support for youth football,” Coach Kpoto said recently during a training visit. Since the future depends on young talents, there can be no argument that providing materials and other assistance to MFA and such academies can surely be the gateway to Liberia’s progress in the development of football.
“Young players are the foundation for a better football and therefore we need to invest in them,” Kpoto said, which is what well-meaning Liberians can do for the future of soccer in the country.