Starting in March 2014, the Gor Mahia Under 19 team will participate in the Nairobi County League. This has been disclosed by the club’s new Secretary General, Chris Omondi. The team will still be coached by the club’s former goalkeeper.
This is a departure from the past where the Under 19 team would be hurriedly assembled a few days before the KPL Under 19 tournament was due to start, thus making a mockery of the whole purpose of having a youth team.
By keeping the players together, they will build cohesion which is a critical success factor for any team. This will also give the technical bench an opportunity to monitor the progress of the players and offer them technical advice.
A well run youth team can also be a source of revenue for the club. If youth scheme is turning out good players, the club may be able to sell them to other teams either in Kenya or abroad.
How will success be measured
The primary goal of a youth team is to serve as a pipeline for the senior team. A succesful youth team is one whereby talented individuals are scouted, identified and then groomed into high calibre players. With that in mind, the success of this team should be measured by how many of them become good enough to play for the senior team each year. If the U19 team is able to graduate at least 3 or 4 players to the senior team each year, it will be a success. Others can also be loaned to other teams or even sold to other teams.
May the Fans show up to support the team
Fans should show up to support the team. However fans should also keep in mind that the goal of this team is not necessarily to win, but to groom players for the premier league.