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Ex-AC Milan star for raw talent

To hold trials in Lilongwe this

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COORDINATING EXERCISE—Uka

Former AC Milan attacker Claudio Balesini is expected to arrive in the country today to run a two-day coaching and trials camp with players ranging from under-12 to 23 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.

The two-day camp, which starts Saturday, has been arranged by The Africa Global Soccer Show in collaboration with World Wide Scholarships (WWS). Locally, Silver Strikers are also in this partnership.

WWS representative in Malawi Patrick Uka said successful players would be offered international tours, trials and university scholarships.

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“It will unlock opportunities for Malawi’s young talent by linking them to the global football academies by offering them world-class coaches. It is the first opportunity of its kind worth grasping,” he said.

Uka said Balesini would train the youngsters and test them on what he teaches.

“Those selected will be linked to football academies in Europe or America on scholarship basis so that they pursue their dream career in football. The opportunities are not limited by numbers but by depth of talent that can be unearthed during the showcase,” he said.

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Uka spoke highly of Balesini, saying he had transformed youth football wherever he has worked including at AC Milan, where he was technical director for the youth.

“Balesini has taken up a position as the Technical Director of soccer at World Wide Scholarships (WWS)’s flagship South African football academy and will develop age-specific player programmes, implement coach selection and development programmes, among others,” he said.

Balesini played in the AC Milan golden era alongside Franco Baresi, Carlo Ancelotti, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Fillippo Inzaghi, when the club was ranked the most successful in the world.

In a statement, WWS Chief Executive Officer Munya Maraire shared the sentiments.

“Claudio has transitioned youth development worldwide and held the prestigious position of Technical Director at the AC Milan Youth Academy, where he was instrumental in establishing more than 50 club-linked academies worldwide. Africa is a unique challenge for him and we have given him the assignment of total development on all four corners.

“For our goals and objectives in creating a pipeline of young African talent to export to the world’s biggest football leagues, there is simply nobody else of this calibre. There are exciting times ahead,” Maraire said.

Strikers Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Chimbali confirmed that they were in partnership with WWS.

“For our football to develop, we need such partnerships,” he said.

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