The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Deportivo FC Wins Katsande Tourney

MUTARE side Deportivo FC were crowned the inagural winners of the Willard Katsande Under-19 soccer champions after they edged Barons 6-0 in the final at Sakubva over the weekend.

The tournament launched by Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwe international midfielder Katsande had 13 teams all drawn from Mutare taking part.

Deportivo managed to beat Barons who had knocked out Dangamvura United in the semi-finals to walk away US$1 000 richer.

The losing semi-finalists who also included army side Buffaloes' junior team were handed training kits for their efforts.

Katsande honed his skills while turning out for the now defunct Highway before being lured to the capital by Gunners.

The combative midfielder affectionately known as Bute by his legion of fans then made his professional break when he signed for Ajax Cape Town before landing a deal at Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.

Katsande has however not forgotten the journey that he had travelled from the dusty streets of Dangamvura to the bright lights of Johannesburg.

With the South African Premiership on a break to pave the way for the staging of the 2013 African Cup of Nations finals in that country, Katsande decided to go back to his roots and invest in the youth in Mutare.

Katsande said he felt obliged to give back to the sme community that helped him build his career and described the inaugural event a success. The event was a great success as it was the first time for us to have such a tournament. The games were competitive and I was so happy to see young players from the area I came from enjoying the game.

"The officials managed to handle the games so well such that there were no incidences of complaints," said Katsande.

"I just felt that the Mutare community has supported me very much and I was trying to plough back to the community indirectly.

"The parents came in their numbers to support the event and that is a great motivation as we look forward to unveil more talent from the eastern border town.

"The idea is good and considering the support we received we now look forward to make this an annual event and promote sports.

"We will sit down and make the next event a very big one and try to bring some scouts to see the young players participating.

"There are teams like Buffaloes, which is in the Premier League and some in Division One who can offer opportunities to the players.

"Taking the Under-19 players was a way of promoting the junior policy which makes the foundation of every sporting discipline.

"The attendance was overwhelming," Katsande said.

Katsande will now head back to Johannesburg to resume training with Chiefs who are sitting on top of the Absa Premiership standings, knowing that he had fulfilled one of his long term objectives - that of giving of younger footballers platform to express their talents.

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