Monday, November 24, 2008

Eritrea's national soccer teams and their challenges.

Eritrea's national soccer teams and their challenges.
I have been one of the strongest advocates of the Eritrean national soccer teams at all levels and I sometimes tend to be a little bit ahead of myself with expectations that our soccer teams will advance and make it to an African or International tournament event. It is with this in mind that I write this blog to get moral support and material support for the national teams back home. If we see the short history of Eritrea in the international stage it is not so bad considering that we have already made it to the under 17 African nations cup as well as many games where we have surprised tough opponents such as Nigeria, Cameroon, and Egypt by playing tough games.
It is very clear that the obstacles to Eritrea's success seem to be countries in Africa that have far exceeded their potential and have become not only African power houses but internationally recognized teams. Eritrea can take a short cut and capitalize by working hard and strategizing on how best to beat the teams that have been very challenging to it the international power houses who take the growth of the game in their respective countries very seriously.
A soccer academy is well needed to nurture the many great talents that come out of Eritrea. I also strongly believe that any Eritrean national be it in the diaspora or from within the nation should be given a mechanism to be able to try out for the national team. As a matter of fact a foreign office that can accommodate that within the Eritrean sports/Soccer federation should be created. I personally believe that some players from Team Norway this past year at the Eritrean sports festival in North America as well as many others including players who play in different universities and colleges as well as from other parts of the world should be worthy of looking at. First it makes the competition better and the players who truly are skilled will be able to prove their ability.
In any case I would like to say to the leadership of the Eritrean soccer federation in Asmara that I salute you for doing a great job despite all obstacles. The fact that the under 17 are getting more attention clearly indicates that Eritrea is headed in the right direction. Like everything else in the nation it is best to start from down and progress. I also would like to share that the office of his excellency President Issias Afwerki has initiated a SPORTAW MEKETE by appointing National Sports Board comprising ministers and senior government officials that would strive to introduce a popular sport system with the active participation of the public. "The Board would streamline a new organizational structure for greater work performance and mission through studying and revising the hitherto existing organizational system and structure regarding sports in the nation."
The fact that Eritrea now has players playing overseas even though it may be in such nations as Yemen, Uganda and other middle eastern nations, it is still a big plus in the big picture. As regional partnerships are becoming the way to success for African nations with the exception of those who want to stay behind, the 2009 version of CECAFA tournament coming up at the end of this month from Uganda, can be a litmus test for our young Red Sea boys being inter mixed with the older players to get some experience and in the process also help win a championship for Eritrea. The Camels as they are known will first play Djibouti, and my feeling is that it will be a good game between the two brotherly people of the horn. Here below is the schedule for the 2009 CECAFA tournament and start date is the end of December.
31.12.2008 CECAFA Cup 2008 - 1. Round
Eritrea-Djibouti Jinja - Bugembe Stadium
Sudan-Kenya Jinja - Bugembe Stadium JANUARY 2009 01.01.2009 CECAFA Cup 2008 - 1. Round
Uganda-Rwanda Kampala - Namboole Nelson Mandela Stadium Zanzibar-Somalia Kampala - Namboole Nelson Mandela Stadium 02.01.2009 CECAFA Cup 2008 - 1. Round
Burundi-Djibouti TBD Eritrea-Kenya TBD 03.01.2009 CECAFA Cup 2008 - 1. Round
Somalia-Tanzania Kampala - Nakivubo Stadium Uganda-Zanzibar Kampala - Nakivubo Stadium
As always good luck goes to our Senior team and with Elias Debessay playing his professional career in Uganda, we hope that Eritrea will be able to get some local support from his fans.
Mike Seium

Friday, November 7, 2008

Big game for Eritrean under 17 soccer team vs Cameroon's Lions

Eritrean under 17 soccer team vs Cameroon's Lions
Asmara -- In the race to qualify for the final eight in Algeria 2009, the REDSEA boys of Eritrea will face the young Lions of Cameroon in the first of two games this Sunday at Asmara's Chichero stadium. The Eriirean Youngsters have shown some flashes of brilliance according to their coaches Asaid Ayman from Egypt along with former Eritrean national team member Negash Teklit. The Eritrean youth travelled to Doha, Qatar and also played against some Sudanese teams in preparation for this very important game taking place this weekend. As reported last month the Red Sea boys got a forfeit win against Democratic Republic of Congo after getting a first round bye because of being one of the top 8 teams to make it to Togo 2007 two years ago.
The Eritrean team defeated the Qatari national team by a very close score of 4-3 after trailing
2-1 at half time in a friendly game that took place two weeks ago at one of the top Sports facility in the world known as Aspire.
Meanwhile Cameroon's young Lions defeated Gabon to get a chance to play Eritrea. According to the coaches mentioned above the two players on Eritrea's young squad that have been shining are Asmara Bira's Merhawi Asmelash and Mohammed Jemea who scored two goals against Qatar. Jemae was injured in that game but has recovered well and will be playing on Sunday.
The young Lions have also prepared for this game by playing the adult indomitable Lions of Cameroon. It was with this in mind that Eritrea's coaching Staff had the Young Red Sea boys play against adult teams from Qatar and Sudan as well as Eritrea.
A little history about the two national teams takes us back in the early years of this decade when Eritrea tied the adult Cameroonians 0-0 in Asmara and only lost 1-0 in Cameroon when the indomitable Lions where at their height. Other qualifying game action are as follows,
Burkina Faso v Rwanda, on Saturday November 8th, 2008 and on Sunday November 10Th, 2008 Angola v Zimbabwe,Namibia v Malawi, Côte d’Ivoire v Niger,Ghana v Gambia,
Guinea v Benin, and of course Eritrea v Cameroon
Good luck to the Redsea boys and Prediction from Eri-international sports says that Eritrea will win by the score 3-1.
Mean while please check out the newly updated Eritrean sports blog at
Mike Seium

Eritrea hosts its first ever Level 1 Coaches Course

Eritrea hosts its first ever Level 1 Coaches Course “Eritrea Tennis Federation will revive tennis in the country and will run it professionally. Eritrea should not play catch up but it should be at a par with the rest of the region.” These were the words from the newly elected President of the Federation, Daniel Yohannes during the closing ceremony of the first ever Level 1 Coaches Course to be organized in Eritrea. The course which started with a 2-day mini tennis course from 23-24 October attracted 34 participants including teachers from 16 schools while the Level 1 course which was from 25 - 31 October had 19 participants. The course, which was conducted by the ITF Development Officer for the region, Mr Prince Madema, covered the modern ways of teaching starter tennis players, intermediate and advanced juniors. Some of the topics covered included: mini tennis, the role of the coach, mental training for beginners, strategy and tactics etc. The participants were very enthusiastic and motivated as this was the first time ever to have such an opportunity to learn something about coaching tennis. Berekete Ghetahun one of the participants commented, “I have been coaching tennis the way I was taught or the way I thought it has to be taught. I have never had an opportunity like this”. He went on to say, “Whether I pass the course or fail, I am still grateful to the ITF and Olympic Solidarity for this learning experience. I will change my ways of coaching tennis. Most of the coaches said they thought they knew how to coach tennis until after this course".The course ended on Friday with the presentation of the Certificates of Attendance by the President of the Eritrea National Olympic Committee. In conclusion, the President of the Eritrean Tennis Federation thanked the ITF and Olympic Solidarity for their continued support through the Coaches Education programme. In addition, he urged the coaches to be part of this new energized Federation since they are the backbone of the development programme in the country.