In Summary
  • Keen observers will not fail to note that over the past two seasons, the average age of the teams taking part in the league has slightly gone up
  • Unfortunately, youth have found opportunities to nurture their talents hard to come by in the NSL, forcing them to drop down to the Division One and Division Two leagues
  • This means talented players down there may never be discovered at all, or are discovered when it is already late

The National Super League (NSL), Kenya’s second-tier football league, was once considered the development arena and the stomping ground where young footballers seeking to ply their trade in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) would sharpen their skills.

Participating teams registered mixed results when the league kicked off last weekend, with all the home teams apart from Northern Wanderers recording victories.

The weekend saw former KPL sides Vihiga United, Nairobi City Stars and Ushuru FC all record comfortable wins, and the league seems to be rapidly changing.

AVERAGE AGE

While for years, the league has been dominated by youngsters, most of them fresh from secondary schools and, to some extent local colleges, keen observers will not fail to note that over the past two seasons, the average age of the teams taking part in the league has slightly gone up.

With stiff competition in the battle for promotion to the KPL, more and more coaches are unwilling to take chances with young players. Instead, they are pinning their hopes on more experienced players to carry them to the top-flight league.

Wilson Aol, head coach of NSL side Migori Youth acknowledges this fact, saying that the ever-increasing competitive nature of NSL means that nurturing talent is increasingly becoming the last thing in the minds of coaches.

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