List of football academies in Kenya

Nancy Marende

Kenya might not be as successful in international competitions like the FIFA World and African Cup of Nations, but it enjoys a thriving domestic football scene.

It has also produced sensational football stars who have gone on to play for some of the top clubs in the world.

Most of the East African nation football stars are homegrown talent. Below is a look at the various football academies in Kenya and some exciting facts about them.

1. Express Soccer Academy

Express Soccer Academy is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and is one of the top academies in the country that is at the forefront of nurturing youth football talent.

It was established 2011 to scout and develop young players to help them achieve their football dreams through professional coaching.

Express Soccer Academy team at the East Africa Tournament
Express Soccer Academy team. Image: X/ExpresssoccerKe

Express Soccer Academy accepts players between the ages of 5 and 19. It offers two football training programs:

  • A school-based program – one or two after-school training sessions at the Hillcrest School and The Banda School in Nairobi.
  • A weekend training program – Saturday and Sunday sessions at the Hillcrest Pre-school grounds in Nairobi.

If you’re wondering about the cost of joining a football academy in Kenya, Express Soccer Academy offers packages depending on a player’s training interest. These include:

  • Ksh 8,500 per term for one training session on the weekends
  • Ksh 12,500 per term for two training sessions on the weekends
  • Ksh 12,500 per term for school-based and Saturday training sessions
  • Ksh 1,500 per hour for private player training sessions

2. Liberty Sports Academy

Michael Olunga training the Liberty Sports Academy team
Michael Olunga is a notable alumni of Liberty Sports Academy. Image: X/ OgadaOlunga

Liberty Sports Academy is a football academy based in Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in 2008 by Alhaji Sly, an Accra-based businessman.

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It has since become one of the best football academies in Kenya and currently competes at the Football Kenya Federation’s National Division 1 League (Zone A).

Liberty Sports Academy is coached by Jacob “Ghost” Mulee, the former Harambee Stars’ head coach.

It is one of Kenya’s top talent-churning soccer academies, producing stars like Michael Olunga, the Kenyan National Football Team striker who plays club football at Al-Duhail SC in Qatar.

3. Uweza Soccer Academy

Uweza Soccer Academy Uweza Women Youth when they played against  Dagoretti
Uweza Soccer Academy. Image: Facebook/Uweza Soccer Academy

Uweza Soccer Academy is a community-based organization based in Kibera, Nairobi. It was founded in 2007 by a group of boys from a children’s home in Kibera with a passion for football.

Uweza Academy offers a training program for youth teams in the Kibera area: under-8, under-10, under-12, under-14, and under-16 boys and under-12 and under-16 girls.

It also has senior men’s and women’s teams competing at the FKF Nairobi’s regional leagues.

Besides football coaching, the academy also offers vocational training services for the youths, thus giving them a chance to find employment or go into business.

On top of that, it provides a safe environment for youths in Kibera, where they can meet, socialize, and play away from drugs, crime, and other vices in the slum area.

Donations from well-wishers fund Uweza Soccer Academy; thus, most coaching services are free.

Therefore, it is one of the top institutions to check out for those wishing to join a football academy for free in Kenya.

4. Inspire Soka Academy

Inspire Soka Academy team when they received boots from Kick off to Hope-Kenya
Inspire Soka Academy team players receiving boots from Kick Off To Hope – Kenya. Image: X/InspireSoka

Inspire Soka Academy is a football academy based in Kahawa Sukari, Ruiru, Kenya. James Situma, a former Kenya National Football Team player, launched the academy.

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The academy provides football instructions to young boys and girls aged 5 to 15.

Most academy players graduate to clubs competing in regional leagues nationwide, with some winning football scholarships to top secondary schools.

Inspire Soccer Academy conducts regular trials for young stars passionate about football. It reportedly charges a registration fee of Ksh 5,000, which covers things like uniforms and training kits.

5. Ujuzisoka Academy

Ujuzisoka Academy team poses for a picture at a pitch
Ujuzisoka Academy. Image: Facebook/Ujuzi Michezo Kenya

Ujuzisoka is a football academy that is based in Nairobi, Kenya. It offers football coaching and talent development services to young boys and girls aged 5 to 20.

The academy also schedules regular friendly matches and local and international tournaments and competitions.

Ujuzisoka is one of the top football academies in Kenya that has helped develop several stars. Some of the academy’s most notable alums include:

  • Ayub Timbe – Plays for the Kenya National Team and Nanjing City FC in China at the club level.
  • Humphry Mieno – A Kenya National Football Team and Tusker FC player.
  • Toni Nyaoga – A Kenya National Football Team star.

Ujuzisoka Academy holds regular training sessions at the Parklands Sports Club. It charges a monthly registration fee of ksh3,500.

6. JMJ Soccer Academy

Victor Wanyama pointing  a finger at a stadium
Victor Wanyama went from an academy player at JMJ soccer academy to playing in the EPL for Tottenham and Southampton. Image: Instagram/victorwanyama

JMJ Soccer Academy is based in Nairobi West, Nairobi, Kenya. The academy offers coaching and talent development services to young players aged 5 to 18.

JMJ is one of the top soccer academies in Kenya, having produced several famous football stars.

Its most notable alumna is Victor Wanyama, the Kenya National Football Team star who became the first Kenyan to play in England’s Premier League.

Other alums include Johana Omolo, Edward Otieno Aluoch, Ayub Timbe, and Johanna Omolo, who have represented the national team and played club football abroad.

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7. Ligi Ndogo Soccer Academy

Ligi Ndogo Soccer Academy team
Ligi Ndogo Soccer Academy, which produced the likes of Humphrey Mieno and Swedish star John Guidetti. Image: Facebook/Ligi Ndogo S.C.

Ligi Ndogo Soccer Academy is a soccer school based in Nairobi, Kenya, founded in 2002 to develop young football talent.

The academy trains boys and girls aged 4 to 20 years. It also has a senior side, Ligi Ndogo SC, which competes in the second division of the Kenyan football league system.

Ligi Ndogo Academy offers after-school (weekdays) and weekend training sessions.

It charges Ksh12,000 per school term for the after-school program and ksh15,000 for the combined after-school and weekend coaching.

Ligi Ndogo Academy has produced famous players like John Guidetti (Swedish national team player) and Kenyan internationals Ayub Masika, Sven Yida, & Humphrey Mieno.

8. Galaxy Football Academy

Galaxy Football Academy
Galaxy Football Academy. Image: Facebook/Galaxy Football Academy

Galaxy Football Academy is based in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

It offers football training to young boys and girls in several age categories like under-5, under-7, under-9, under-11, under-13, under-15, and under-17. They charge a monthly training fee of Ksh4,000.

Galaxy Football Academy offers training sessions both during weekdays and on the weekends.

The academy also organizes regular tournaments and friendly matches on the local and international scene. 

9. Cheza Sports Academy

Cheza Sports Academy team celebrating
Cheza Sports Academy. Image: Facebook/Cheza Sports

Cheza Sports Academy is a community-based organization based in South B, Nairobi, that offers football coaching services. It was founded in 2013 to empower Nairobi’s youth through football.

The academy offers coaching and development services to kids between 4 and 23. It also has a senior side that competes in the Nairobi West Sub County League.

Cheza Sports Academy reportedly charges a registration fee of Ksh10,500, which includes coaching services and training kits.

Additional fees are applicable, for example, when players attend international tournaments and friendly matches.

The academy has produced some top talents like Amy Lasu, South Sudan’s women’s national team captain, and Kenyan Byron Adiodo, who plays for English club Peterborough North Star FC.

10. Friendship International Sports Academy (FISA)

 Ibrahim Kitawi smiling
Ibrahim Kitawi and Paul Were are graduates of Friendship International Sports Academy. Image: X/k_sharksfc

Friendship International Sports Academy is one of the top soccer academies in Nairobi. It was established in 2006 to develop footballing talent from low-economic neighbourhoods in Nairobi.

Besides football, the academy also offers life skills training to youth players to sensitize them against vices like crime, drugs, and harmful sexual behaviours.

FISA academy offers training for youth players in various age groups (Under-8, under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16, under-18, and under-23).

The academy has produced top stars like Ibrahim Kitawi, Musa Mohammed, Paul Were, and Kevin Omondi, who have played for the Kenya National Team and various Kenyan Premier League clubs.

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