The 2018 Upolu Youth League has begun.
It kicked off last week Saturday. There are 13 teams for the Under 10 grade and 21 teams for the Under 13 grade.
The tournament will run for 10 consecutive weeks. It aims to develop the kid’s football skills by promoting more touch and playing a faster game.
This is according to a press release by the Football Federation Samoa (F.F.S.).
“The league is also unique in that it encourages inclusiveness, creative play and removing the element of winning at all costs.”
The statement says each grade is mixed with any combination of girls and boys in a five versus five formats.
The Tuanaimato Football Complex was filled with young local talents on Saturday. Parents turned up in full force to support their children.
According to the F.F.S. Technical Director, Valerio Raccuglia, having a mixed team impacts the development of each player’s skills.
“We believe having the girls play with the boys will help them greatly. The size of the pitches and number of player’s mean each player gets more touches on the ball.
“Kids are also encouraged to express themselves without the pressure of being admonished for mistakes.”
The statement said the Youth League also includes Under 16 and Under 19 grades for girls and boys, which will kick off midway through the U10 and U13 tournaments.
This tournament will be played on a full size pitch with 11 versus 11 players.
“The Youth league will give players an opportunity to play regularly and also allow the FFS Technical department to identify talented youngsters to be part of our development programs moving forward,” Senior Technical Development Officer, Martin Tamasese said.
“Players in the higher grades will also use this tournament to prepare for the Senior National League later this year.”