Madagascar ready for debut at CAF African Schools Football Championship

Madagascar will debut at the CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023 from December 14-16 and hope to show the rich talent among youngsters in the Under-15 age-group on the island.

Madagascar have been to the Africa Cup of Nations finals as recently as 2019 and are always competitive in COSAFA tournaments, so will have every hope their next generation can qualify for the African Schools Football Championship continental finals next year.

Their representative teams in the Boys’ and Girls’ competitions in Harare will be made up players from a collection of schools, bringing together the best of the talent from their national phase qualifiers.

Yvon Nambinina Randrianarisoa, who is youth coach of Elgeco Plus, says the Boys’ side are preparing well and will be ready for the tough competition.

“Our task will not be easy because it is a (national) selection and not a club team,” he said. “We will attack with collective work, defence and attack tactics. We aim to go as far as possible and seek qualification for the final phase.”

The Girls’ side will be led by coach Zo Harilala Razafintsalama: “We first strengthen the basics. We will devote the second week (of camp) to work on defensive and offensive systems, as well as match simulation.”

The Malagasy Football Federation have identified the importance of competing on ther international stage in this age-group.

“There are three reasons why this competition is significant for our team,” they said in a statement. “First, it provides an opportunity for us to continue our schools football policy. Second, it allows us to enhance our football skills due to the lack of competition (at this age-group level).

“Third, it enables us to exchange experiences with other teams in order to find better solutions for football at school.

“Not only will our players become aware of the high level of competitiveness by the end of this competition, but they will also gain motivation to set goals for a potential career in football.”

The draw for the 10-team CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will be made in Harare ahead of the tournament.