The Secretary General of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, Anthony Baffoe, has called for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and other individuals to come up with more youthful competitions which will help in the identification and development of young players in the country.
The GFA, in an attempt to resurrect grassroots football, introduced the KGL U-17 Championships, but it has not really lived up to the expectation they desire. Other individuals have also played a part in ensuring more young talents are identified through competitions.
One of these competitions is the Asamoah Gyan Foundation’s Baby Jet U-16 Football Tournament, which has already led to the discovery of players such as Dundee United’s Matthew Anim Cudjoe and CFR Cluj’s Emmanuel Yeboah.
Speaking at the launch of the third edition of the Baby Jet U-16 African Football Tournament, the former Ghana international called for more such initiatives.
“Academy or grassroots football is all about youth development and talent identification. I believe it helps in identifying talents but what is important is to have more youth competitions because at the end of the day, the younger you are, the more you should play,” he said.
“I think we need district selections, regional selections. We need the youths to play because it’s all about development and this tournament [Baby Jet U-16] will help to unearth talent.”
Ghana’s most recent successes in football have come through the junior national teams with the latest being the U-20’s Africa Cup of Nations win in Mauritania in 2021.
The 2023 edition of the Baby Jet U-16 tourney is set to be played between June 6 and June 13 at the Cape Coast Stadium.