By Claire Wanja/Release
Betway Talent Search winners Mark Nthiwa and Moses Gitau made their return from the UK after their successful 12-day “West Ham United Experience”.
The duo were the shining stars of the football talent search organised by leading sports betting company Betway aimed at developing football talent in the country.
During the exercise, about 1600 aspiring footballers from across the country trained and showcased their sills under the watchful eyes of local and international coaches at The Goan Institute in Nairobi.
The trip they won presented these two talented individuals with the rare opportunity to showcase their skills during training sessions with West Ham United’s first team, under 23 team and under 18 Foundation & Academy.
Additionally, they also experienced first-hand how a team in the English Premier League conducts its affairs when it comes to training, talent development and management of world-class stadiums and facilities.
Moses, the promising midfielder from Shanzu, Mombasa and Mark, an up and coming goalkeeper from Githurai, Nairobi, also received individual training sessions with the West Ham United fitness coaches and first team manager SlavenBilic.
They were also given the chance to meet and interact with the West Ham United first team players including André Ayew, Andrea, Darren Randolph, Michail Antonia & Jose Fonte.
The Under 18’s assistant manager Mark Philip and West Ham United Foundation Coach Jim Hampsheir noted that both players demonstrated high levels of football skill and that their standard of fitness was on par with the West Ham Academy players. This praise is noteworthy, as the Under 18 squad had been hard at work training in preparation for their game against Chelsea on the 10th of March.
First team players Álvaro Arbeloa and Machalli Antoniagave them a one-on-one session about fitness, training and their experiences. In addition, they had a chat with the players on how to make that all-important step from amateur football to career football.
Another highlight of their trip was getting to attend the West Ham United matches that were taking place at the time. The two enjoyed a home game against Chelsea and an away game against AFC Bournemouth. During the clash against Chelsea, the two were introduced to the stadium of West Ham United home fans prior to the kickoff.
Now that they have returned to Kenya, the two rising footballers have already officially signed on to play for Mathare United. This will be their first step in their professional football careers, made possible by the Betway Talent Search.