Somali football team to get teenagers off the Cambridge Estate
18th May 2009
By David Lindsell »
Somali teenagers have started a five-a-side football team to keep them out of trouble and improve their footballing skills.
The 16 to 25 year olds approached Somali community organisers asking them to help set up a club.
The project is set to be awarded £750 by Kingston Town Centre councillors this week toward pitch hire, coaching, publicity and football equipment.
Organiser Mohammed Ali said: "They hang around the Cambridge Estate and we feel that we have to keep them off the estates and give them something to do.
"They are good players. Some have experience but the others are getting healthy through it. They do like to show off their skills."
The 54-year-old said his legs would no longer stretch to training with the team on Saturday afternoons at Kingsmeadow but he hoped to build a squad of 22 players for an 11-a-side team.
While the Kingston Somali football team goes from strength to strength, the national team has struggled in recent years because of the ongoing civil war. Their star striker Ayub Daud plays for Juventus but the Somalis are forced to play all their games away from home.
The Kingston Somali Community Association was set up in December 2006 with an office in the United Reformed Church offering advice and assistance.