Zifa sets up Harare provincial youth development committee

By ZBC Reporter
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has set up a provincial youth development committee in Harare to oversee the launch of junior development football leagues in the capital.
As lack of junior football development has been a major setback in the country with senior teams failing to make a mark on the continent and beyond when it comes to bigger tournaments, ZIFA has come up with an initiative to revive junior football leagues.
The major aim of the initiative is to capture talent from a young age, hence the setting up of a provincial youth development committee which will oversee this project.
“There were some agents who were just milking money from players yet the direct beneficiaries were left in the cold, so the idea is to ensure that proceeds from junior development go to the rightful people,” Robert Tembo ZIFA Harare Province Chairman said.
“This initiative will eventually help us to groom young talent so that we have continuity in our senior national teams. If we have junior developmental sides, it means these youngsters will act as feeders to our senior teams,” Olivarth Guvuriro, ZIFA Youth Development Committee Vice-Chairman said.
Stakeholders who attended the ZIFA meeting in Harare this Saturday welcomed the move but pointed at the need for the football mother body to consider coaches from developmental leagues for national team posts.
“We are appealing to ZIFA not to overshadow us as junior development coaches because we only see coaches from the top flight league being assigned to take up the juniors yet some of them do not have the right capacity to coach these youngsters.”
The junior development leagues are expected to run from Under 9 to Under 19 and cascade to all parts of the country this year.
Meanwhile, ZIFA has appointed a nine-member committee that will oversee the promulgation of junior football league in Matabeleland south. speaking at the launch in Gwanda the governing board’s Central Region Chairman, Stanley Chapeta said it is disheartening to note that there is no recognised direct replacement for the current crop of players in the senior national team, hence the need to have a solid junior policy.
speaking on the ZBC news, various coaches from rural academies welcomed the move saying it will inspire a lot of untapped gems in the periphery.
The junior football league which will commence with players under 15 years is meant to identify and nurture football talent from a tender age for the development of a strong football base for the country.