|The interim committee|
…as Zifa sets up Jnr League committee
Following loud calls for a junior football league, it seems the pleas are beginning to be heard after local football mother body Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) set up an interim committee to run the affairs of junior football development in the province.
Masvingo has over the years lagged behind in terms of junior football developmental projects, with no junior league of its own despite the existence of such notable teams as Triangle FC and Masvingo Utd FC who all need to fed by new talent from junior leagues.
The province is home to Chidyamakono, Pamushana, Gutu and Hippo Valley high schools who are forces to reckon with at such national competitions as Copa Coca-Cola annual Under 15 tourney.
Talking of young players who made headlines, Masvingo boasts of Ovidy Karuru, Takudzwa Mahori and Gabriel Nyoni who turned professional at a tender age during their days at Gokomere and Pamushana respectively.
An interim committee was selected over the weekend and it faces an uphill task of doing the ground work and making sure the much-awaited league starts by mid-March this year.
Experienced football coaches and administrators were given the task to lead the initiative with the vision of setting up a world-class junior league which will produce players who can make it into Premier Soccer League (PSL) and national teams.
Seasoned football administrator, Austin Hakunavanhu will lead as the interim chairperson while Pikisai Mhizha, Margaret Chipetiwa, Tinos Chivasa, Zambuko Rice, Ernest Chinosengwa, Charles Mhike make up the list of the committee.
Speaking to TellZim News, Hakunavanhu said the initiative was a welcome development which he hoped will change the face of Masvingo football.
“We are waiting for the first meeting so that I can assess the situation. The initiative is welcome and we all hope something positive comes out of it,” said Hakunavanhu.
Zifa Eastern Region chairperson Davison Muchena expressed confidence in the capability of the new committee and also said the province was supposed to go back to its glory days of producing young talented players.
“We believe after putting up an interim committee of such qualified personnel. Surely, we are going through the heights that we require in junior football. As a region, we want to thank the Zifa president Felton Kamambo for awarding the kids a chance and as we all know Masvingo has been a force to reckon in terms of producing talented players.
“Masvingo has been winning with Pamushana, Chibi, Hippo Valley and Gutu. Youth teams from Masvingo have won so many trophies on a national scale so we believe if we give them a chance they will excel more,” said Muchena.
For this inaugural season, the league will include school teams, community teams and football academies from the province’s seven districts.
Zifa is on a nationwide junior football developmental project where they are setting up junior leagues across the country’s ten provinces with Masvingo and Manicaland already completed.