History beckons for Churchill, Mzilikazi

HARARE - Churchill High School and Mzilikazi will chase an unprecedented fifth Copa Coca-Cola title this weekend when at least 264 budding footballers from 24 high schools descend on the capital Harare.

The youth football fiesta will roll into action on Saturday at the Zimbabwe Grounds amongst various venues before culminating in the finals at Gwanzura Stadium on Sunday.

Whilst the grassroots tournament will offer the promise of catapulting talented players to professional football, the incentive will be far greater for Harare’s Churchill and Mzilikazi of Bulawayo.

The two schools, big names in Zimbabwean schoolboy football, have won the title four times each.

Hippo Valley High have also won it five times in 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997, but the Masvingo school has struggled since then and will not be part of the 12 boys’ teams that will battle for honours this weekend.

Mzilikazi will draw inspiration from their titles which began by winning the inaugural tournament in 1989 with Warriors legend Peter Ndlovu providing the cutting the edge for the high-density school.

That win would set the tone for the Bulawayo school, who would go on to be crowned champions in 1993, 1999 and 2001.

Churchill have also found similar form, winning in 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2008.

The Harare giants, under the stewardship of Gift Zvidzayi, will hope to move head and shoulders above the rest and make it a fifth title by the end of this weekend.

The other eleven boys’ teams are, however, equally determined to leave a mark at the grassroots tournament and football fans are in for a treat when the high-density suburb of Highfield welcomes the 26th finals of the Copa Coca-Cola.

In the history of Copa Coca-Cola tournament, Harare province has won it nine times, followed by Masvingo with seven titles while Midlands won it in 2011.

Mzingwane High won it for Matabeleland South in 2012 and Chemhanza ensured Mashonaland East would have their own bragging rights after winning the title last year.

Boys

Pool A: Chemhanza (Mashonaland East), Chipadze (Mashonaland Central), Pamushana (Masvingo).

Pool B: Oriel Boys (Harare), Mzilikazi (Bulawayo), Cheziya (Midlands).

Pool C: Mukondwa (Mashonaland East), Chinonge (Matabeleland North), Mutare Boys High (Manicaland).

Pool D: Churchill (Harare), Vimbai (Mashonaland West), Mzingwane (Matabeleland South).

Girls 

Pool A: Roosevelt (Harare), Muzimuni (Matabeleland South), St Francis (Mashonaland Central).

Pool B: Chidzikwe (Masvingo), Magwegwe (Bulawayo), Mwanza (Mashonaland East).

Pool C: Chidyamakono (Masvingo), Chilisa (Matabeleland North), Gato (Midlands).

Pool D: Vainona (Harare), Nyamaruru (Manicaland), Sodbury (Mashonaland West).

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