Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
CUMA director Hurbert Manyowa has hailed their junior football development project after their Under-15 team were crowned the overall winners of the four-team tournament at the launch of Walter Musanhu’s Jadel Football Academy at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare on Saturday.
Manyowa is in partnership with former Warriors striker Cuthbert Malajila in the project that was formed in 2012 with Under-13 players and the academy now houses Under-15s, 19s and 23s.
Their senior side has since won promotion to play in the ZIFA Northern Region Division One League next season.
The Kadoma-based businessman said there is a lot of potential in their area and they hope to see a lot of talent coming from the small mining town.
“We are grateful to Walter Musanhu for recognising us and inviting us to his tournament, which we managed to win. The youngsters are working hard and with the project I believe we are going to get far.
“We are trying to prepare the young players for the future and with the way they are training we are going to have something big from Kadoma. The tournament proved that we are a force to reckon with and we are going to encourage former players to take the same route which we are taking with Malajila.
“It is only the beginning of big things to come. We are moving in the right direction as our five-year plan is already showing some results. We managed to get promotion into Division One with the senior team and that alone is an achievement. It has been long since we have a player from Kadoma doing well so we need to produce more Malajilas from this side.”
Malajila had the vision to give back to his community in Kadoma and Manyowa said the partnership came as a welcome move.
“Cuthbert wanted to give back to the community where he comes from and he sat down with me, and as a football fanatic, we came up with the academy. We are giving back to the people who have supported us growing up.
“I want to see the young players we are grooming grow into great players. We want them to achieve greater things and also bring back the footballing status in Kadoma. Through our support and that of the community, the boys will make it.
“Our concept is not about football only, but also bettering the lives of the youths, especially in their academics and making sure that their sporting talents are complemented with academic abilities,” added Manyowa.
Kadoma is well known for producing top players with the likes of Malajila, Norman Komani, Charles Chiutsa, Daniel Zokoto, Supersport FC coach Kaitano Tembo, Hebert Dick, two-time PSL soccer star Rodwell Chinyengetere, Raphael Phiri, Godfrey Mukambi among several others with their footballing roots grounded in Kadoma.
The weekend’s Jadel Football Academy tournament had CUMA players winning several accolades as Shelton Munetsi was named the Player of the Tournament while teammate Tashinga Muchacha was top goal scorer.