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UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean soccer coach Phillip Zulu will this weekend hold coaching sessions for underprivileged young players in Harare’s high-density suburbs of Mbare and Mufakose.

Zulu arrived back from England a couple of weeks ago to run some coaching programmes for young Zimbabwean players under his Super Eagles Futsal (five-a-side soccer) schedule which he will this Saturday and Sunday take to Mbare’s Stodart Hall grounds and then to Mufakose’s social grounds.

“Super Eagles Futsal are proud to announce the next coaching sessions this weekend to be held in Mbare Stodart Hall grounds and Mufakose social soccer grounds on Saturday and Sunday at 10:15am and 12:30pm respectively.

“We are targeting players in the 7 to 16 and 17 to 19 age-groups who are keen to learn ‘Samba, Tiki Taka and African Street Football’. All interested players are welcome for the last introduction sessions before the launch of our Super Eagles Futsal Academy at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe sports complex on April 20.

“We would like the young players to come and learn aspects of the beautiful game which are guided by the Total Football philosophy,” Zulu said.

Apart from coaching in Mbare and Mufakose, Zulu, a seasoned coach, who specialises in the development of junior players, is also expected to travel to Norton on Saturday afternoon where he will work with young players from Aspire Soccer Academy at Ngoni Stadium.

Vengai Tinarwo, the director of Aspire Soccer Academy, said yesterday they have invited Zulu and his assistant Desire Mbidzo to conduct some training sessions with all their age-group players on Saturday afternoon at Ngoni.

“Phillip Zulu is one of the best coaches for junior players to emerge from Zimbabwe and he has accepted our invitation for him to come and work with our youngsters at Aspire Soccer Academy on Saturday because we feel they will learn a lot from him.

“In fact, we are currently preparing our boys Under-18 team to take part in the 2014 Gothia World Youth Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July and we would also like Zulu to have work out with them on Saturday and then design a training programme which they can also use during their preparations for the Gothia World Youth Cup,” Tinarwo said.

But it is Zulu’s visit to Mbare and Mufakose on Saturday and Sunday that is likely to be greeted with some keen interest by a number of young, talented soccer players from two of Harare’s oldest high-density suburbs which have also produced a number of national team stars over the past years.

In fact, some of the best soccer players to grace the domestic top-flight league came from Mbare and Mufakose and they include the likes of the legendary George “Mastermind” Shaya, Stanford “Stix” M’tizwa, the late Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, Dixon Ngwanya (late), Japhet “Shortcat” M’parutsa, Enock “Mujibha” Pakamisa, Achieford “Chehuchi” Chimutanda (late), Edward “Madhobha” Katsvere (late), Mike “Mabhurugwa” Abrahams, Boniface Makuruzo, Maronga “The Bomber” Nyangela, Joel “Jubilee” Shambo (late), Ernest Mutano, Moses “Gwejegweje” Chasweka, Memory Mucherahowa, Anthony Kambani, Clayton Munemo and Stanley Manyati (late).

And Zulu said he feels that Mbare and Mufakose both still have a lot to offer in terms of producing the same kind of gifted players thus his decision to take his Super Eagles Futsal programme to these two places this weekend.

Zulu runs the same programme at his base in Leeds UK where he has helped to identify and nurture a number of talented young players who are now playing for academies and developmental sides of top English Premiership sides such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Just recently, Zulu’s Super Eagles won the Futsal league title in the UK “with great style”.

“We were up for it since day one and I am very proud of these boys who fought gallantly when called for duty every Friday night and they understood the task at hand and their response was just what the doctor ordered.

“When I look back, I feel greatly honoured to have worked with such an intelligent group of young lads who passionately played for Super Eagles with all their energy and determination,” Zulu said of his team’s latest achievement in the UK.

Zulu, who once played for the now-defunct Premier Soccer League side Black Aces in Harare before he left Zimbabwe to settle in the UK, said he would like to have the same Super Eagles set up in this country and his main aim was to help in identifying talented players who would play for the national team in the future.

“Although I’m currently based in the UK, I still have Zimbabwe at heart and my heart bleeds when people tell me that our junior development programmes are almost dead here, and that is why I decided to return home (briefly) to start my Super Eagles Futsal programme for the young players.

“I personally think that this will go a long way in first helping the country to identify young, gifted players who would later be nurtured and turned into national team material if not world class players . . . I’m determined to revive the junior development programme in Zimbabwe through this programme of mine,” Zulu said.

He is scheduled to return to England on May 5 but his partner Mbidzo will continue to supervise his project in Zimbabwe.

Collin Matiza Sports Editor

Source : The Herald

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