By Sports Reporter
HARARE-based Total Football Academy will further enhance its status as one of the country’s leading junior football development programs when it hosts a grassroots football tournament for Under-10 players at Churchill High School in Harare on Saturday.
The inaugural edition of the grassroots competition dubbed the Total Buds Under 10 Tournament, will feature 12 sides drawn from various academies in the capital.
Total Football Academy also plans to host an Under12 tournament at the same venue on November 25 to expose young players to organised football at an early age.
The academy teams that have confirmed their participation in this weekend’s tournament include the hosts Total Football Academy, Clyde Soccer Academy, Cranborne Football Academy, Mopao Mazet Academy Football Academy, Big Stuff Soccer Academy, Bohsa Academy, Brusfa Academy, Real Stars Football Academy, Effenburg FC, BN Soccer Academy, Legends Football Academy and Queens Mine Football Academy.
Total Football Academy’s technical director Justin Kabetha told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview that preparations have gone well so far but bemoaned lack of corporate support for junior football.
“It’s the first time that we are hosting these tournaments but we hope that it will become an annual tournament,” Kabetha said.
“Sponsorship is hard to come by as the corporate world generally shuns football in Zimbabwe, especially junior football.
“In Zimbabwe junior football is generally driven by passion. We hope the powers that be in football will do their best to bring back credibility in our football and make it attractive to the corporate world,” he said.
The junior football administrator however paid tribute to companies that have come on board to support Total Football Academy in hosting this event.
“As Total Football Academy we appreciate the support we get from Tempo Tyres and Steps Security Solutions. Their support has been tremendous,” he added.
Founded in Warren Park, Harare, in 2011, the Total Football Academy has contributed significantly to the growth of local football.
Several players who trace their roots to the Warren Park-based academy have gone on to excel at local and foreign clubs.
Perhaps the most successful player to come through the academy’s doors to date is rising Warriors defender Munashe ‘Bongola’ Gara’nanga.
The 21-year-old central defender completed the move to Sheriff Tiraspol from Belarusian side Dynamo Brest last year and has been featuring in the UEFA Europa League this season.
Other players include Charles Moffat (Yadah) Stanley Shingai Masukuta (Harare City Football Club), Dinoleen Masukuta (Shesham), Collin Mujuru (Herentals), Kudakwashe Mangami (Simba Bhora), former Dynamos player Thomas Kadyaridzire and Chicken Inn star Munashe Pini.