Grooming of football youngsters from an early age is the way to go and as this gives them exposure and recognition by other teams in Zimbabwe.
Masvingo Christian College, is one such entity that has been ensuring they play their part in grooming youngsters through their registered team in the Eastern Region D2, Masvingo Christian College FC. Now the school is aiming to create an academy that will encourage all kids from different schools to participate in it so as to groom the juniors and make them recognizable on the national scale rather than within the province only.
Speaking to SportBrief’s Masvingo reporter Sukuoluhle Ndlovu, Masvingo Christian School head Mr Muresherwa said they are aiming to establish an academy.
“We have a lot of kids who have the potential but they are taken away from us by other teams so if we build an academy such shortfalls will not befall us. The other aspect is to take the kids into the real world.”
“We want the kids to compete with other teams as we can have a team of our own rather than supply other teams with players, we want our kids to be ready to join the real world,” said Muresherwa.
The teams coach Mugovera Makanyire echoed the same sentiments, adding that the academy would benefit children from different schools across Masvingo.
“An academy will be the way to go as it will be open to all the kids in the different schools in the province and come up with young talented players rather than let the talent in Masvingo go unrecognized as Masvingo has talent but only needs to be groomed and allow them to have exposure,” he said.
Masvingo Christian School performed well during the first half of the season this year and was on top of the log but come second half they faced challenges as they lost some of their star players to other teams.
“Other teams take our players without our consent and this then strains us, the kids are lured into joining other teams and shun their own as for now there is no allowance for the kids, hence a need for an academy,” said the teams coach.
The teams coach and head of the school are of the same view that they want to fight age cheating and ensure their players have a clean record wherever they will go as this is the main challenge being faced in the football industry.
Masvingo Christian College FC and has 50 players. The team was formed last year and they played well and ended up at 6th position as the league came to an end. This year MCC FC finished at 4th position.
The team comprises of U20, U17 and the U15 team is the supply base that supplies the team with players. The team is currently for Christian College kids only.
The team’s affiliation fee is funded from the school’s pocket. Makanyire saw that there was a need to develop the juniors and grant them exposure that is why they came up with a football team aiming for it to be an academy.
“The idea that intrigued us into registering our football team into D2 was the need for junior players to be recognized and give them room to show case their talent as people focus on D1 and PSL hence l do not work alone, Rupanga Asmin is the assistant coach and fitness trainer, Brighton Makuvise.”
“The juniors are the ones that will build the teams of tomorrow so by giving them this exposure will give them adequate training, so there is need to groom players and provide continuity as there are a few school tournaments that are held throughout the year,” said Makanyire.
The football team is ensuring the developmental aspect of the kids is an extension of their schooling and was also inspired by the new curriculum which focuses mostly on practical things rather than theory.
“The team has become a developmental program for the kids and has helped instil discipline in the kids while at the same time valuing their studies as they go for training after they finish studying.There are a lot of vices being done so the football team has taken away the kids from the streets and occupied them with something positive to do with their lives,” said Makanyire.
The team has players that have left and since joined other D1 teams and others joined Midlands’ team, Chapungu FC.
The team is also facing training equipment shortages as the school is failing to cater for everything on its own so the school has also called out on the community to support the kids and develop football.