Kenyan Ndambuki dazzles at F4F tourney in Moscow
The completion of the sixth edition of the Football for Friendship tournament in Moscow, Russia might have just heralded the start of a budding football career for 12-year-old Jadidi Ndambuki.
The attacking midfielder surpassed expectations to lead his side to the finals of the juniors competition scoring thrice and providing six assists as the Komodo Dragons comprising of kids from Brazil, Wales, Dominican Republic, Guinea Bissau and Philippines lost 2-1 to the Chimpanzees in the finals staged at the Lokomotiv Stadium in within the Russian Capital.
Thumps up for Ndambuki all-round performance saw him not only receive massive praises from his teammates but also equal measure of approval gestures from the sizeable developmental scouts who graced the finals, referring to the Makadara Junior League academy prodigy as a talent in the making.
“I will most definitely want to monitor Ndambuki’s career path in the coming couple of years,” Ramiro Van de Laar from the Ajax Football academy in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, remarked.
In the pre-world Cup tournament put together by Gazprom, the official partners of FIFA and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the organisers have also taken it upon themselves to mentor the youngster by forwarding his name to be one of the young coaches in the next edition.
“Sometimes it’s not easy getting kids who speak different languages coming together to not only make formidable friendship but also gel so well, Ndambuki was one of the standouts in the team performance wise and also being a team player-one of the core values of the Football for Friendship (F4F) International Children’s Social Project,“ Yana Pavelnko, one of the educators spoke passionately about the Kenyan ambassador who got the opportunity to participate in the International Team of Friendship in the European City.
The star of young Ndambuki, was not about to be dimmed, he got the once in a lifetime chance to fly the country’s flag at the Luzhinki stadium together with a few selected kids from different parts of the globe last Thursday before the year’s football extravaganza kicked off in a match the hosts Russia treated the packed to the brim spectators to a sumptuous 5-0 hiding over perennial whipping boys Saudi Arabia.
“This is not what I envisioned when I was selected to be part of this project. As far as my career is concerned, I believe this is only the beginning.
“Having made amazing friends from all over the world is another win for me, this are the moments you cherish,”Ndambuki who was also given the official World Cup football as a souvenirs, recollected.
For developmental coach Stanley Achima, one of the founders of Makadara Junior League academy, he credits the rise of the Parkland’s Baptist school’s career growth to great discipline.
“It is fair to say, he is not the best talent wise in the academy, but what makes him standout is his discipline and sheer hard work, many upcoming talents forget the discipline part, which is essential for career make or break,” Achima stated.
Perhaps a pep talk to the acting Kenyan ambassador to Moscow Hillary Kyengo when the Kenyan delegation paid him a visit at the consular headquarters was itself a propeller in getting the good results.
“Football in the country depends on how much investment we put in this juniors, I believe Kenya can qualify to the world cup if a lot of emphasis is put in nurturing talents, I am so proud of your achievements, “lauded …when he hosted the team to a Kenyan delicacy at the embassy.
The F4F aim was to bring together youngsters from 211 countries to play football while upholding the values of friendship, equality, peace and respect.
The format of the tournament features 32 International Teams of Friendship, each named after endangered animals, and comprising players aged 12 and coached by teenagers from 14 to 16.Teams were made up of footballers from different countries, genres and physical abilities.
“The sixth season of the International children’s social programme Football for Friendship is officially closed. This year, F4F was supported by 211 countries and regions.
For the very first time, young athletes from all parts of the world where football is played met on the same field. We live in an age where people all over the world seek to unite behind the principles of equality and respect for each other.
The project was a crucial element in this process. Football for Friendship gives that opportunity to everyone,” said Viktor Zubkov, chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC Gazprom.
The President of the Russian Federation, Russian Olympic Committee, FIFA, Heads of the Football Federations, football stars, Olympic and Paralympic Champions, public figures became the honored guests of the event.
Iker Casillas, a Spanish football player, goalkeeper and captain of Portu (Porugal) greeted the young participants of the Football for Friendship programme.
Head Coach of the Russian junior team Alexander Kerzhakov, Syrian football player Firas Al-Khatib as well as Prince, Administrative Director at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation Abdulrahman Bin Ibrahim Al-Sayyar, also addressed to the children.