Tobias Mandoreba in Hwange
THE small town of Dete will from this morning up to end of day have an electrified atmosphere as a total of eight junior teams converge at Ngotsheni ground for a talent exposure football tournament organised by FC Dete Academy.
Shumba Stars, Cross Dete Select, Iwisa Sparrows and FC Dete Academy (all Dete), Juventus FC (Jambezi), Ndola FC (Binga), Lupote Eagles (Lupote) and Mabale Select will lock horns in the area which is fast proving to be a rich football hub for the province.
FC Dete Academy owner and chairman of the organising committee Ashley Ndebele said the purpose of the event was to empower talented rural footballers.
“The tournament is targeting players between the ages of 16 and 23 years who always face resource challenges to go out and have trials at bigger clubs outside Dete with the main objective being to ensure they realise how football can turn around their fortunes instantly as long as they are passionate, dedicated and believe in their ability.
The teams will be divided into two groups with table toppers meeting in the final. New Game Reserve Hotel and Zifa Mat North Division Three league sponsors Painted Dog Conservation have partnered us on this event with a floating trophy, prizes, tokens and motivational speeches.” said Ndebele.
Division One coaches from teams like ZPC Hwange, Mosi Rovers, Moto Moto, Zifa Mat North chairman Dennis Tshuma, Mat North U-20 provincial coach Thulani Moyo and former Chipangano coaches Weekly Mwale and Nation Dube will be part of the guests.
Contacted for a comment, Football Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) secretary general Thomas Sweswe thanked the sponsors and organisers of the tournament.
“As FUZ, we support such initiatives big time and thumbs up to sponsors as most sponsors tend to target big towns. These tournaments remove kids from the streets.
“Football is now a business and I am urging youngsters taking part to take the sport seriously as they can go places and live comfortably from the game.
“They need to learn the 3Ds of football namely determination, discipline and dedication as in football there are no shortcuts” he said.
FC Dete Academy was formed in 2017 and has Under- 14, Under-16 and Under-18 teams.
The academy will take part in the Zifa Mat North Division 2A league this season. [email protected]