Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
NEWLY-FORMED FC Ratanang soccer team has appointed former Highlanders duo of Chipo Tsodzo and Innocent Mapuranga as their coaches.
The ambitious side believe that Tsodzo, who has had coaching stints with former Premiership side Bantu Rovers and Zim Leopards, as well as Mapuranga, previously in charge of Bulawayo City FC’s youth teams will guide them to the Premiership.
Bankrolled by Imbesu Mine who are on the outskirts of Bulawayo and overseas partners, FC Ratanang, are confident that Tsodzo and Mapuranga will also inspire upcoming footballers, giving them life skills tips.
Evans Nyoni, the mine and football club director said they set up the club to give youngsters a platform to shine while nurturing their talents.
“We brought in legends in the form of Chipo Tsodzo and Innocent Mapuranga so that the boys learn fast and are also taught the right things. These are legends to these boys because they either watched these guys playing soccer or they read about them. These are people who they look up to.
“Besides coming in to be mentors to the youngsters, Tsodzo and Mapuranga are also getting an opportunity to sharpen their coaching skills and get experience,” said Nyoni.
The FC Ratanang director said they formed the club to create a safe haven for footballers who had failed to make a break at other teams and keep the players’ dreams alive.
“We’re just doing the project to empower youngsters so that they stop stealing, taking drugs and other social ills. We believe that if we can keep the youngsters busy playing football which they love, then their chances of participating in social ills are limited. As a club, we would have realised our dream if one day we are able to have one of our products donning the national team jersey or playing outside the country,” said Nyoni.
Just like any ambitious side, FC Ratanang wants to be in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) within five years.
Nyoni said they intend to set up a women’s team as well as junior sides once football activities for lower leagues are given greenlight to resume. — @ZililoR