The team received a national welcome upon arrival at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International airport on Friday, before proceeding to the National Technical Centre in the heart of Mogadishu where a huge welcome party was held.
Somali Football Federation executive committee member and head of youth development Abdalla Mahmoud Hersi and the chairman of Horseed Sports Club Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed have organized an unprecedented welcome ceremony for the boys.
"I am very pleased and it is an honour both for me and my colleagues to welcome our boys back home today. These young boys have really represented our great nation very well and we have full respect for them” Horseed Sports Club chairman Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed said.
"They had four group stage matches; they lost two matches and have one victory and one draw and that is what you can expect from football games, either win, lose or draw, but the good thing is that they gained an experience and leaned a lot” Dr. Mohamed explained before handing over the microphone to the head of youth development of Somali Football Federation.
"Somali Football Federation spent a lot of efforts and investment in its youth and grassroots programs and that is why we have been able to send these very young boys to the maiden CECAFA competition, despite the difficult situation in our country” SFF executive committee member and head of youth development Abdalla Mahmoud Hersi noted in his address at the welcome ceremony on Friday.
He said that educating children in football at an early age is the best way to get well-trained and talented footballers. "One enough example is the Somali U-17 boys who wrote a history during the CECAFA U-17 event in Burundi in 2018 when they lead Somalia to its first ever CECAFA final” Mr. Hersi said in his address.
"The U-15 Championship in Eritrea was their first event and I am now confident that they can fully understand how it takes to participate in an international tournament and I hope they will do much better in the near future competitions” the head of SFF youth development department said.