Shereni lines up ambitious project

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe international Harlington Shereni has set himself an ambitious long-term plan to establish a state of the art High Performance Centre (HPC) aimed at boosting the county's football while attract potential recruits.

The facility will include a football stadium, academic centre, offices and meeting rooms, training grounds, gymnasium among other structures.

Shereni could not reveal a start date for construction but has organised a testimonial match as a way to raise money for his grand project.

The testimonial match set for June 27 is intended to help raise funds for The Harlington Shereni Foundation, which aims to provide talented youth the opportunity to pursue their sporting goals, and dreams while maintaining their academic studies.

Shereni’s key motivation for developing a High Performance Centre is drawn from his observation that there is an abundance of skill and talent amongst the underprivileged but few have the opportunity to explore this talent.

“Throughout my career, I have observed that, most often, those that are able to pursue professional sports are those from wealthier backgrounds,” Shereni said.

“For those from more modest backgrounds, they are unable to access the facilities or training that takes an individual to the next level. That is what the High Performance Centre is all about.

“This High Performance Centre is going to put even clinics with specilised sports medicine.

“We are also going to have sort of a mini-stadium where we will have an athletics track and be able to provide other things for tennis, basketball, cricket and swimming. We want to incorporate all the sporting disciplines.

“I want to bring back home what I have experienced in Europe. When nurturing these youngsters we want to provide them high quality standards so that when they go to Europe they will be at par with their counter parts.

“We want them to have the same feel, the same environment that the other guys in Europe have. This is basically what I want to bring to these guys.”

Shereni a product of the COPA Coca Cola said he would use tournament as one of the scouting platforms for his project. Being granted such an opportunity, Shereni is passionate about providing youth similar opportunities to launch their careers.

During the testimonial match, the national team is expected to take on an array of current and former European league superstars.

Some of the high profile stars includes South Africa’s Lucas Radebe, Olivier Giroud, who plays for Arsenal in England, Oumar Dieng, Bakari Sagna, El Hadji Diouf, Pascal Feindouno, Steven Pienaar, Emmanuel Eboué Raymond Kallakongo, Bonaventure Kalou, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Steve Mandanda, Marvelous Nakamba, Benjani Mwaruwari and Roger Hitoto. 

Shereni made his name at Dynamos when he powered the Glamour Boys to a second place in he 1998 Champions League before he went on to play for Avant De Guingamp FC, Nantes and Strasbourg defender.

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