PE to miss Hammer & Tongues tourney

HARARE - Record champions Prince Edward School (PE) will not defend their Hammer & Tongues St George’s College Invitational Soccer Tournament title this year.

PE, who won the tournament in 2013, 2014 and 2017, have other commitments this weekend and will not be part of the 24 teams set to converge at St Georges College starting this Friday and Saturday.

While PE will be greatly missed this year, they have made a long-lasting mark on this tournament and their shadow will always loom over.

Over the years, some of the players who represented PE in the tournament have become household names in Zimbabwe and beyond.

The most notable is Zimbabwe international striker Tino Kadewere, who has recently been enjoying a fruitful season with Swedish top-flight club Djurgardens IF.

Kadewere won the Golden Boot Award with six goals in the inaugural Hammer & Tongues St George’s College Invitational Tournament in 2013, helping PE win the title that year.

Then there is goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva, who was Zimbabwe’s first-choice goalkeeper at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon last year.

Mkuruva captained Prince Edward School to their second consecutive title in 2014.

Kadewere and Mkuruva were the youngest members of Zimbabwe’s squad at the 2017 Afcon edition — ample evidence of the importance of the Hammer & Tongues St George’s College Invitational Soccer Tournament to the development of sport in this country.

Meanwhile, Prince Edward’s sports master, Linsent Chitiyo, says the vision of the school goes hand in hand with the tournament.

“Our vision is always beyond dominance, but grooming and nurturing a well-rounded gentleman who will be a national podium athlete,” said Chitiyo.

“We value exposing our young boys to healthy competitions and getting them to grow their technical and tactical intelligence in football through matches.”

A unique feature of the tournament over the years and which will continue this year is its inclusivity.

It draws schools from different backgrounds and areas of the country; government and private, rural and urban, the traditional football-playing schools as well as those where football is historically not part of the sporting culture.

Draw

Pool A: St George’s College A, Gateway High, St John’s Chikwaka, Milestone College, Kutama College, Induna.
Pool B: Peterhouse, Midlands Christian College, Nyasha High, St Ignatius College, St Peter’s Kubatana, Inkomo.
Pool C: St John’s College, Christian Brothers College, Marondera High, Nhowe, Goromonzi High, Westridge High.
Pool D: Falcon College, Watershed College, Mufakose 2 High, St John’s Emerald Hill, Manyame Airbase, St George’s College B.

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