Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
The world of sports, and football in particularly, presents some very strange features.
Football especially has the tendency of a quick change of fortunes making it possible to have a great talent end up as a potential that never realized its dreams.
The Under 17 Lions of Cameroon are on their way to becoming future examples of such talents that never reached their full potential.
Despite operating without a youth championship back then, Coach Thomas Libiih and his technical team somehow found the formula to build a team that went on to conquer Africa in April 2019 in Tanzania.
Surprisingly, all the players where affiliated to amateur clubs in Cameroon or clubs from third tier competitions in Cameroon and below with the exception of Ricky Ngatchou who was on the books of topflight side, AS Fortuna.
Less than a year down the line, none of these players have had the trust of a league one club or a league two club in their own country. The question is: if we can’t trust our heros and give them the opportunity to develop at higher levels, who will trust them?
Looking at the situation elsewhere, youngsters like Ansu Fati of Barcelona and Spain Edwardo Camavinga of Stade Rennais and many others have grabbed their chance to play at the same age or younger in some cases. These lads have become very important components of success at club level.
Yes! One must agree that the environment is different, but why not give a chance to Ekoi Manfred of Best Stars Academy of Limbe, Daouda Amadou of Oyili FC and co. the chance to continuously play with a League one or two side and develop on the pitch.
Cameroonians all agreed that the Under 17 FIFA World Cup failure was caused by the of lack of competitive football under their belts.
Even Ricky Ngatchou who was singled out for praises after the dismal World Cup campaign is struggling to get minutes under coach Simplice Njiki at AS Fortuna.
Steve Mvoue of Azur Academy for example was MVP at the AFCON, but how can such a talent be allowed to stay without playing after such a great performance?
The creative midfielder was linked with a move to Europe when he turns 18.
Unfortunately there has been total silence on the state of this deal though he is already 18. What if the 18-year-old was playing regularly and doing well for a topflight club in the country? Certainly it would have attracted more interest.
Playing for a topflight or second tier club will have given these boys a chance of fighting for a place in Cameroon’s home-based team foe the 2020 CHAN competition on home soil but unfortunately non of the 21 African champions has been to camp with coach Yves Clement Arroga of the intermediate Lions of team.
Unfortunately, that is not happening and it appears there is no visible plan on the development of the careers of these boys in Cameroon. Most of their agents only seek to have them travel out of the country.
So far, none of them has officially moved to Europe, making it imperative for captain Fabrice Ndzie and his mates, plus their entourage to an extent, to review their views on this subject of career path, and why not get going in the meantime.
Definitely, if François Bere, Gael Dibongue and the others get their chance either in League One or Two, they will develop with time.
One will normally expect that if these players and their entourage fail to get it right, then the Cameroon football federation as the technical body managing football in this republic must step in immediately to rescue these talents from disappearing. If that happens Cameroonians can hope to see their 2019 Under 17 AFCON stars shine again in another national team in future.
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