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ZIMBABWE’S Aspire Soccer Academy have been officially invited to take part in this year’s Gothia World Youth Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July.The Gothia World Youth Cup is the largest international youth football tournament in the world. Every year, 1 600 teams from 80 nations participate in this event.

The Gothia World Youth Cup has been organised every year since 1975.

And Aspire Soccer Academy from Norton, which is some 40km outside Harare, recently received their official invitation to take part in this year’s Gothia World Youth Cup which will run from July 13 to 19 in Gothenburg where they are expecting to field a boys Under-18 team.

Anna Holmberg, tournament secretary of the Gothia World Youth Cup, recently sent an official invitation letter to Aspire Youth Soccer Academy aising them that they have been accepted to play in the boys Under-18 section of this year’s youth soccer jamboree in Gothenburg.

Vengai Tinarwo, the director of Aspire Soccer Academy, yesterday said they have already identified 18 players that they intend to take to Sweden for the Gothia World Youth Cup and the team will be under the guidance of coach George Jojo.

“I can now confirm that we have been officially invited to take part in this year’s Gothia World Youth Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July and we have already come up with a list of 18 players who we would like to take part in this big international tournament for junior players.

“At Aspire Soccer Academy we take this as a big step in our endeavour to develop talented, young players in Zimbabwe because taking part in this tournament will give them the much-needed international exposure at the highest level.

“It is our aim to develop these players and turn them into international football stars who will go on to play soccer abroad and I think our participation in the Gothia World Youth Cup will also help our players to market themselves to football scouts who will be in attendance at this tournament,” Tinarwo said.

The director of Aspire Youth Soccer Academy also said that they are now looking at raising more than US$30 000 that will go towards meeting the expenses of their trip to Sweden.

“We have to pay for the airfares of a delegation of 18 players and four officials and we also have to pay for the visa fees for each member of our team for the Gothia World Youth Cup, so we need to raise slightly over US$30 000 for this trip,” Tinarwo said.

Aspire Soccer Academy have also engaged Bernd Wulffen of Germany-based GeBe Foundation who has indicated that he would like to help them in their final preparations for the Gothia World Youth Cup.

Wulffen, who is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa, indicated yesterday that he would like the Aspire Soccer Academy’s Under-18 team to visit Germany for a week before they fly to Sweden to take part in the Gothia World Youth Cup.

“I have told the director (of Aspire Soccer Academy, Tinarwo) to let me know if they want to spend time in Germany before or after the tournament. We could arrange that,” Wulffen said from his base in Cape Town yesterday. Wulffen is a former professional footballer in Germany where he played in the Second Division before he moved to the United States, living there for 20 years.

He said he was interested in getting involved in the junior development programmes of fooball and handball in Zimbabwe, and has been in touch with both Aspire Soccer Academy and the Zimbabwe Handball Association.

With his good connections to German handball and football clubs, Wulffen said he would like to partner or adopt South African and Zimbabwean handball and soccer clubs with German clubs “for them to sponsor clubs and development programmes” in both countries.

“Now I know you are taking teams to the tournament in Sweden that is great but you also have to think of other options in Europe. Germany is the biggest handball nation in the world. All European top players are playing in the German Handball Bundesliga.

“I want South African and Zimbabwean teams and coaches to go to Germany for workshops, training sessions with professional clubs, friendly matches and to enjoy professional handball games. All this can be organised at very low cost,” Wulffen said.

Meanwhile, eight young players from Aspire Soccer Academy have been invited for trials at South Africa-based Mighty Warriors Soccer Academy in Boksburg later this month. Kelly Mafusire, Russell Chifura, Desmond Machiwana, Blessing Mafunga, Simbarashe Musendami, Vitalis Mashumba, David Chaleka and Tatenda Makotore will be assessed at Mighty Warriors Soccer Academy for two weeks from April 15.

According to the chairperson of Mighty Warriors Soccer Academy, Life Chikarakara, the academy will consider the eight players’ ball skills and career focus, and those who will make the grade at the trials will be offered an opportunity to enrol there in the 2014-2015 school and soccer calendar and participate in the academy’s league and competitions in South Africa.

Aspire Youth Soccer Academy Under-18 Team

Ali Machingura, Tatenda Gwaze, Washington Parira, Tatenda Munditi, Learnmore Muyambo, Conrade Mukahlera, Innocent Mukunga, Kudzanayi Mofalo, Nyasha Rupiya, Panashe Goremusandu, Blessing Mafunga, Pride Muvirimi, Leon Timothy, Tinashe Mupumha, Blessing Fireyi, Tawanda Musariri, Brian Gahadzikwa, Nigel Tinarwo.

Source : The Herald

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