‘Invest in junior development’

21 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
‘Invest in junior development’ Norman Mapeza

The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS’ coach Norman Mapeza believes investment in junior development can yield positive results for Zimbabwean football.

The Warriors returned home from a depressing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals sojourn where they bowed out in the group stage with three points.

Zimbabwe started off their continental campaign with a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Senegal followed by a 2-1 loss to Malawi and then capped off with a 2-1 win against Guinea.

Senegal and Guinea qualified for the next stage of the competition.

But it is the depressing Warriors’ campaign that has gotten the nation worried about the future of Zimbabwean football.

Mapeza has been in charge of eight games and the victory against Guinea was his first since taking charge of the Warriors.

In total, he had five defeats, two draws and one win.

In his overview of the tournament where he gave most players their first Afcon dance, Mapeza said to perform better in future international events, there is a need for junior development.

“Against Senegal we really played well, although we didn’t create enough chances, then against Malawi we created good opportunities to win the game.

We need to invest more in junior football,” said Mapeza.

Zifa has been in the spotlight for neglecting junior development, with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) also raising its concerns.

Bulawayo and Harare provinces have vibrant junior leagues.

In the past, inter-provincial junior tournaments were held annually, with national team coaches using those competitions to identify players.

— @ZililoR

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