German trials for local youngsters

HARARE - Three budding Zimbabwean footballers will attend trials in Germany next month following a visit to the country by West Bromwich Albion chief scout Paul Andre Gibbons in February.

The ex-West Brom trainer visited the country for the first time on the invitation of Glen View-based Maningi Soccer Academy for a two-week talent identification programme. Maningi is credited for grooming former Prince Edward schoolboy Tinotenda Chibharo, who in on the books of English Premiership giants Manchester City.

The event in February saw Gibbons recommend some of the most promising players for trials in Germany. The Maningi pair of Mordecai Chigaba (16) and Sean Muneka (18) as well as Zimbabwe Under-20 and FC Platinum player Tatenda Dzumbunu (19) will travel to Germany. 

Maningi Academy director, Gladyman Dimbiri said the three will leave on July 1 and return 14 days later.

“We managed to get visa for three boys and they will be going to Germany under Puma sports for a prestigious and professional trialscourse under the watchful eye of 30 Bundesliga coaches and scouts. Also present will be division one officials with some coming all the way from France,” Dimbiri told the Daily News from the UK yesterday.

“I am very confident that they (the players) will outshine all the other kids and will be picked first by various scouts present,” he said.

Gibbons has been involved in Southern Africa in the last three years, working with the South Africa and Botswana national teams. In an interview with this paper in February, Gibbons said he was on a mission to provide overseas career opportunities to young Zimbabwean players.

“It was a very easy decision to come to Zimbabwe; He (God) made it for me so I didn’t argue,” Gibbons said back then.

“If I give one kid a chance that means there’s something good goingin Zimbabwe, something good going in Harare and something very good going in Manhingi.”

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