Jubilant fans in Meru County have always enjoyed watching the beautiful game of football live at Kinoru Stadium from the times of Meru bombers, Mafuko bombers, Kisima bombers to Tusker FC. Players such as Moses “Dube” Odhiambo, Muna Kalayia, Frankline Obare and many others were bred and started their careers in this beautiful county known so much for Khat or “Miraa”. Indeed Meru is not Miraa alone but football has a large following as well. Fans in Meru got the privilege to watch legendary players such as Wilberforce “Maradona” Mulamba, Mickey Weche “T9”, JJ Masiga and Mahmoud “Kenya One” Abbas grace Kinoru Stadium when Meru bombers played against AFC Leopards in the Superleague in 1987. It was the highest tier by then and the Leopards were very strong beasts by then.
First youth tournament
On 25th and 26th August 2018 Meru fans were given a treat of football extravaganza but this time not by Mafuko bombers or Kisima bombers and neither by Frankline Obare nor Moses Odhiambo. Youths from 4 Counties namely Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo and Laikipia participated in the BIDII Soccer Youth tournament hosted at Kaaga Primary and Meru School. The tournament which was the first of its kind to be organized in Meru attracted teams in the Under 15 and Under 19 age categories.
The Teams that Paraded
In the Under 15 category BIDII Sports Academy, Al Ansa F.C, Black Panthers, Ulinzi Youth, Bucha Youth Academy, Sildan Sports Academy, Chugu Youngsters, PAMCO, Naari Talent Academy, Compassion KE 718, Kambakia Youth FC and Nyota Ndogo participated.
In the Under 19 category there was BIDII Sports Academy, Al Ansa F.C, Olympics FC, Taqwa, Ulinzi Youth, Bucha Youth Academy, Mwariama FC, SOS Children’s Home, Galaxy, Mitunguu Youth and Mutindwa Juniors.
In the Under 19 category hosts BIDII Soccer Academy emerged as the winners after displaying attractive football and having all their departments functioning like a well oiled machine. They won all their matches and beat Al Ansa FC from Isiolo 2-0 in a well attended final.
The Under 15 Category was won by Al Ansa FC after they beat Sildan Sports Academy in the final.
The most valuable player in the under 19 category was Abdisalan “Raz” Ibrahim. Abdisalan was simply extra ordinary and scored from headers; tap ins, with both his right and left foot. A great dribbler he is and very calm on and off the pitch.
The most valuable player in the under 15 category was Eric Mutwiri from Naari talent academy. If well nurtured Eric has the potential to become a player of great promise and can rise to the pinnacle or his ability. Paul “Falcao” Muindi from Sildan Under 15 team was the fans MVP player. Muindi was seemingly the smallest and youngest in the tournament but mesmerized the fans with his dribbling skills and oozing confidence.
Emmanuel Bahati, the Under 15 goalkeeper of Sildan Sports Academy was a sure bet for the golden gloves in his category. Balah ensured he stopped shots from hitting the net.
Al Ansa custodian “Sumuni” was the best goalkeeper in the under 19 category.
When the Curtain fell
Indeed the first edition of BIDII Youth Soccer Tournament ended successfully and will be forever remembered for reaching fever pitch and providing joy to over 1000 youths.