Former Warriors and Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa has lauded the wealth of football talent that came through at the Shield-Chelsea talent search initiative held at Alex Sports Club in the capital recently.
By SportBrief Reporter
The Shield- Chelsea talent search, which is arguably one of the biggest football talent search programs in the country so far, rolled into the capital on Saturday with around 250 participants taking part in the event.
And Pasuwa, who was one of the panel of selectors for the event, said he was overwhelmed at the abundance of talent that he witnessed on display.
“The response was very good and most players came from academies. I can tell you the talent which is here is so great that I can’t even comment. We will have a problem in coming up with the number which is required,” said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa went on to challenge local football clubs to invest more in youngsters and suggested that there are good young players in the country who are just not being afforded the platform to showcase their abilities.
“We saw a lot of guys playing good football, we’ll also be inviting premier league coaches so they can also choose some players that they see and would like to have them. We will also try to assist those players that we see have potential.”
The campaign, which is an initiative by Unilever through their Shield brand which partnered with Chelsea football is aimed at promoting football at a grassroots level by offering youths between the ages of 18-25years the opportunity to showcase their soccer talent.
The partnership will see one lucky Zimbabwean joining other young Africans from nine countries to form a team of Africa XI that will get an opportunity of a lifetime to play against the Chelsea Legends in London.
The talent search which was held in Harare and Bulawayo has already seen 15 and 20 participants chosen from both cities respectively.
The final 35 players will then go to a one-week boot camp session in July. After the boot camp, 3 Chelsea Coaches will be coming to Harare on the 25th of July to pick the final winner who will go to Cobham in the UK to train and play against Chelsea legends.
The initiative has been so much of a hit in the country that Shield Brand Manager Susan Luneta, having seen the plethora of talent that has been unearthed so far, indicated that they may hold an even bigger edition next year.
“The response has been overwhelming, we could possibly do bigger and better (next year). You know the sky is the limit,” she said.
Here are the 35 Finalists
Siyabonga Nyatsanga (22), Mzingaye Zane Sibanda (22), Desmester Antony Govath (21), Experience Moyo (23), Emmanuel Ntulu (23), Shadreck Muchini (21),Lucky Dube (21), Dumoluhle Mpofu (20), Polite Nyoni (19), Given Cambisai (24), Khulekani Dube (18), Simbarashe Moyo (19), Arnold Phiri (20), Alex Farai Muchenje (21), Brighton Mpofu (23).
Promise Mukombe (22), Admiral Matope (22), Nimred Bande (21), Kudzanai Chakwiziro (21), Clive Mandivei (22), Kalusha Kafamu (25), Claud Matangira (25), Hope Rusere (23), Munashe Kasaira (21), Tafadzwanashe Mukahlera, Beaver Diya (19), Duddley Bemura (22), Tinashe Chifamba (25), Tafadzwa Mandaza (20), Wellington Muswe (23), Fortune Musina (19), Blessing Chihanya (22), Patrick Chera (23), Tinashe Mupfumira (19), Joseph Mandevani (19).