No football for young men. . . PSL clubs fight for old war horses Denver Mukamba

Innocent Kurira,  Sports Reporter

EVERYONE deserves a second chance, some even a third. That is the case of Dynamos midfielder Denver Mukamba (29) who has had his third unveiling ceremony at Dynamos.

Mukamba was at his peak a decade ago but still, he is making transfer headlines. Forget Mukamba, the whole domestic transfer window has been a story of “old horses” finding new clubs.
At a time when everyone is talking about the big signings of young exciting talent in the form of Mykhalo Mudryk (22), Cody Gapko (23), Benoit Badiashile (21), and Noni Madueke (20), it is a different case back home.

The transfer window headlines are being hijacked by players who have age catching up with them.
Former Warriors defenders Honest Moyo (31), Xolisani Moyo (32), and Erick Chapeta (32) are amongst the signings at new outfit Green Fuel.

Moses Jackson (41) and Munyaradzi Diya (37) have been spotted at the Bulawayo Chiefs training session.
The list is endless.
There is no need to mention Caps United in the conversation as they have returned most of their players who earned the nickname Chembere Dza Lodza last season.

There is no denying how valuable experience can be for a top-flight side, however, the concern is on the development of upcoming talent which is stifled by clubs going for experience over youth.
Gift Lunga Junior who is now a developmental coach says the problem is placing the zeal to win ahead of development.

“Most of the coaches are chasing results and that is where the problem starts. Plenty of coaches want to protect their jobs and they will not risk playing inexperienced lads. That is why we are not going anywhere in terms of development. Look at what FC Platinum did and won the league. The coach had faith in the youngsters and they delivered,” said Lunga.

Gift Lunga Junior

Coach Kudzai Mhandire says: “The recycling of players is killing our junior football. But the main reason why that is happening are the teams’ goals. Teams are now results-oriented so that when you are given a job you are forced to look for experienced players.

“Remember there is a 15-year-old who wants to play football at the highest level but they are being loaned out and it kills the player, some it hits them hard and they quit. We are result-oriented as coaches that we can’t even play entertaining football anymore. Sadly l can see the trend going on and on as long as we are results-oriented. Are we building? The answer is no.”

Norman Mapeza who has had the guts to try out youngsters and go on to win the league feels more needs to be done at development level to improve our standards of football.
“We have been talking about where we can start our junior football for many years. Do we have sound junior football? The answer is no.

FC Platinum head coach Norman Mapeza

“If you look at how some of us who progressed in 1988-90 there was a junior league and everyone knew at Highlanders you had your Gift Lunga Senior and Methembe Ndlovu. We knew they were playing for the Under-16 and they knew us.
“Some of the guys that played in the dream team knew each other from the juniors. If tomorrow we say we want to play international Football in Zimbabwe where are we going to get the Under-20 and 23 from?
“My wish is for either Zifa or Under-20’s tomorrow we have FC Platinum playing Hwange then we go with our Under-20 and they play Hwange at least at 12 if it takes ten years to get to where we want to be at them let’s do it.”

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