'Concentrate on junior development'

BULAWAYO - Former Zimbabwe international and Highlanders defender Thulani “Biya” Ncube says junior football development must be taken seriously for the country to regain its lost glory.

Ncube, who is now based in the United States, is in the country ahead of the third edition of his Under-14 Biya and Friends tournament starting today at the Amakhosi grounds in Luveve.

The tournament will see four teams; Gwabalanda, Cowdray Park, Luveve and Magwegwe North Under-14 teams battle for honours.

Each team will walk away with a branded full football kit.

There will also be individual awards for the player of the tournament, top goal scorer, goalkeeper of the tournament and man of the match. The winning team will also walk away with a trophy.

“I’m doing this for the kids and also as a way of giving back to the community that brought me up,” said Ncube.

“The reason why I chose the Under 14s is because football must be developed at grassroots level. I believe for Zimbabwe to excel in soccer we ought to concentrate more on the juniors who are the future of the Zimbabwe football.

“We must actually give them something to play for now and that will encourage them to take sport seriously as it has also become one of the most paying professions.”

Ncube added: “This is the third edition of the tournament and we are looking forward to making it bigger and better. We are also looking at increasing the prizes and also adding the number of teams participating in the near future.

“I am not only looking at soccer now but I am also getting into academics. I am paying fees for three form three best students at three different schools.

“I thought it was fair to also recognise those who excel academically. Funds permitting, I’m also looking at adding the number of beneficiaries. Again this is a way of giving back to the community.”

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