Rwanda Football Federation launched the Under 15 National Football Youth League in Gatsibo District on February 14, 2015.
The Ferwafa Technical Director Lee Johnson said that many training centres and academies from around the country will compete in the first ever organised youth competition throughout Rwanda.
Johnson said, “The philosophy of these leagues is based on player and coach development.The leagues will connect National Team coaches directly with local clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams,”
“The leagues will focus on identifying and developing the next generation of players, coaches and referees.
The Junior Youth Leagues are aimed at increasing participation and promote youth competition, raise the standard of football throughout Rwanda with a focus on player and coach development as well as providing a safe and secure learning environment.
The first phase of the Under-15 Football League will be held in four different districts.
On 14th February, 2015, all roads will be heading to Gatsibo District where we will witness the start of the league with both girls and boys teams playing before heading to Nyanza District on 15th February, 2015.
On 21st February, 2015, Rubavu district will grace the launch of the U15 league before heading to Kicukiro District on 22nd February, 2015.
These Junior Youth Leagues which will cover age groups, U13, U15 and U17s in both boys and girls will have each league played for between 9 and 10 months throughout the calendar year.
Each season will last for 3 months starting in February 2015 until May 2016 and each league will contain geographically-based divisions (pre-selected districts).
Each league will have a maximum of 10 teams and the playing format will be based on home and away format against other teams in their division.
The U15 leagues will be introduced in 4 phases and during each phase, there will be 4 new leagues introduced within a new district. This will allow for organised football to gradually be introduced throughout the year.
At the end of each season, Ferwafa will host a Regional Training Camp where the best 20/30 players from each league will be selected to attend the training camps which will be managed by national team coaches.
Each league will have 10 teams with the first phase taking place in four districts, including Kicukiro (central), Rubavu (northwest), Nyanza (south) and Gatsibo (east) from February through April.
The second phase will start in June through August in other four districts, including Nyarugenge (central), Musanze (northwest), Nyamagabe (south) and Kayonza (east).
The third phase will kick off in October and run until December and will cover Gatsibo (central), Nyabihu (northwest), Rusizi (south) and Rwamagana (east).
The fourth phase will start in 2016 from February through April in the districts of icumbi, (central), Rulindo (northwest), Huye (south) and Nyagatare (east).
After the phases, Ferwafa will select 30 players in each league who will then continue training under the watch of expert coaches. The coaches will be named later in the year.