Newly appointed Zimbabwe football association (ZIFA) technical director Wilson Mutekede has applauded the football association for promoting football at grassroots level.
The former Shabanie Mine coach who is just two days old in the office, is assisting CAF instructor Ulric Mathiot in the FIFA grassroots coaching currently taking place at Victoria High in Masvingo, feels junior football is the way to go if the country is to catch up with modern trends of football.
“We are teaching them the type of games that can be used at grassroots training and the participants have shown a lot of enthusiasm. We will wind off with a festival on Friday which will see 200 children taking part.
“After the training we want them to go and organize the same festivals in their provinces and districts and that is how our kids learn football,” said Mutekede.
Mathiot who is from Seychelles said that it is important for the African continent to think of the next generation of football players.
“We are gifted in Africa in the sense that our players are strong, well built and technically strong but we lack the mental tactical aspect of the game. It is through grassroots that can see Zimbabwe improving in all the four pillars which are technical, physical, and tactical and the mental side.
“Football should have all those aspects and in Africa we play our football in the streets (informal football) but now we are giving them formal education. It will be up to the football association to develop the products.
“The association must have a tailor made structure and move them to formal coaching say U12 or U13. They also must make sure that the children are put into academies. Our wish is for the association to discover the talent of football in the kids
“My mission here is to work with coach educators showing them the techniques of organization within the conserve of the programme. The kids must play and have fun through formal drills,” said Mathiot who enjoyed the practical session at Victoria High on Tuesday.
25 students are taking part and among them six females. The programme is mainly targeting teachers and junior coaches who deal with kids ranging from 6-12 years.