Friendly Academy in Durban

HARARE - Friendly Academy is hoping to win the Durban Friendship Soccer Tournament (OR Tambo Cup) that begins in South Africa today.

The Harare-based football academy, which trains at Raylton Sports Club, left Zimbabwe at the weekend for the Under-21 competition which was scheduled to start yesterday.

However, heavy rains in KwaZulu Natal that claimed three lives as of yesterday, meant that the tournament’s start had to be pushed back to today.

Friendly Academy director and coach Patridge Muskwe is confident they will emerge victorious at the eight-team competition. 

“Last year, we lost this tournament in the final on penalties to Chesterville Academy but this time around we are going all the way,” Muskwe told the Daily News from Durban yesterday.

“In that final, we missed a lot of chances in regulation time and we could have won at least 8-0. We have worked on our finishing and I don’t see any of the teams stopping us this time around.”

Muskwe is deriving his confidence from the fact that in August this year, Friendly Academy successfully defended their New Balance International Cup crown in Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

The New Balance International Cup was openly only to Under-18 players and Muskwe travelled to Durban with the bulk of the squad from that trip.

“My players are raring to go and they were disappointed by the bad weather that stopped us from playing today (uesterday),” he said.

“We are currently enjoying some fine form and we are not here as tourists but we want to bring the cup back to Zimbabwe.”      

As for the unpredictable Durban weather, Muskwe hopes it will not spoil their quest for glory.

“It’s been raining hard since we arrived and visibility has been reduced drastically. You cannot even see five meters ahead of you when outside,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can have some dry days coming up for us to enjoy the good football from these youngsters.”

In order to win the tournament Friendly Academy first needs to negotiate their way out of a group that includes Kwamashu Academy, Flamingo Academy and Clermont Academy.

The other group is made up of Umlazi Academy, Chesterville Academy, Newlands Academy and Ntokozo Academy.

A number of scouts from South African and Russian clubs have been invited to attend the tournament in Durban. Players who excel during the tournament will get a chance to be signed by these professional clubs.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.