The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Tapera Hails RG Mugabe Tournament

YOUNG Warriors' coach, Jairos Tapera, believes tournaments like the RG Mugabe National Under-20 championships present a good platform to identify players to build a competitive future national team.

Tapera said, with the Young Warriors facing a possible ban from Caf after failing to travel to Angola to fulfil the second leg of the African Youth championships, the teenagers can only benefit from playing regularly in these tournaments.

Twelve schools converged at President Mugabe's former school, Kutama, where Pamushana High of Masvingo won the tournament after beating Churchill of Harare 1-0 in the final.

Chemhanza High School won the inaugural event last year.

The tournament was a huge success and credit should be given to the event co-ordinator, former Premier Soccer League chief executive, Chris Sambo, for the way he organised the tourney.

Tapera said while the young boys played well throughout the tournament, they need to play together on regular basis.

"Basically there were a lot of good players and the competition was good," said Tapera.

"It's unfortunate players who were selected will not be taking part anywhere since the Cosafa Cup is no longer around.

"But I think there should be a way where these players can come to train together after two weeks or so.

"We need to be financially supported to establish structures at provinces where provincial coaches select players in their areas.

"They can stage a tournament where all the provinces can play in the presence of the coaches so that it becomes easy to pick these players for national duty.

"What is important is for these players to play together and get to understand each other. Under-17s should also do the same.

"I realised there is a lot of talent in the country but they lack exposure. If these players can play together then the future looks bright."

Despite a narrow loss to Pamushana in the final, Churchill Boys dominated the Nash squad that was selected after the tournament.

Churchill provided four players while winners Pamushana had two players.

Nash Under-20 Team:

B. Sahonda (Guinea Fowl), E. Maunga (Guinea Fowl), W. Chombe (Munyaradzi), B. Sebata (Togwe), G. Mbedzi (Togwe), S. Chilolo (Churchill), K. Mutandagayi (Churchill), L. Kavati (Chemhanza), G. Sikhapila (Gebhuza), S. Majachani (Churchill), B. Mashini (Hwedza), B. Bizwek (Hwedza), T. Mahori (Pamushana), S. Mbulayi (Hwedza), V. Ranjisi (Herman Germainer), M. Changara (Herman Germainer), T. Muchaya (Pamushana), M. Phiri (Mpopoma), M. Piki (Mutare) G. Chitaka (Mutare), K. Mushawi (Churchill)

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