Germany tour inspires youngsters

HARARE - Zimbabwean teenagers Leroy Willie and Devine Khumalo say their recent training camp in Germany will go a long way in helping develop their football careers.

The football development initiative by Copa Coca-Cola saw Willie of Oriel Boys and Khumalo of Mzilikazi High schools spend a week at the home of current Fifa World Cup champions learning from some of the best coaches in the world.

The two Zimbabweans joined over 100 football protégées from across the world at the Copa Coca-Cola International Camp held at the prestigious Lindow Sports Academy in Berlin.

Willie and Khumalo were selected for the trip after they caught the eye of the selectors at the 2014 Copa Coca-Cola Boys’ Under-16 finals in Harare last year.

“I dream of playing overseas one day and the Copa Coca-Cola tournament has helped me a lot in trying to reach this goal,” Willie told the Daily News upon his arrival.

“It has helped me by building my confidence and by affording me a chance to showcase my skill to the rest of the world. Going to Germany was a dream come true for me.

“I know that I still have a lot to learn and this experience will help me reach my dream of becoming a professional footballer one day.”

His compatriot Khumalo, a Highlanders junior player, said: “I was fortunate enough to travel there. I had an opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches in the world. I also hope the experience will help me reach my dream of becoming a professional footballer one day.”

During the Copa Coca-Cola International Camp, the young footballers held training sessions with former Germany national team assistant coach Hansi Flick.

Flick was Joachim Low’s assistant when Die Mannschaft (The Team) won the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Fifa World Cup winners Benedikt Howedes and Pierre Littbarski also took the participants through a number of training sessions.

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