Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AS the Copa Coca-Coca football tournament celebrates its 30th anniversary, Harare Province head in charge-of football Ropafadzo Matemavi said they would want to bring back the glory days when they used to have their schools winning the tournament regularly.
This year’s national finals for the Under-15 boys and girls will be held in Zvishavane from 12 to 14 July.
Provinces are expected to have their provincial finals on June 29 and Harare have confirmed theirs will take place on the set date at Lord Malvern School.
They have already conducted their draw for the teams that progressed to the provincial event from the districts. Harare are the second province after Masvingo to have produced most winners for the country’s biggest schools football tournament. But it’s been a while since they last claimed the trophy.
Matemavi said there has been a huge improvement by other provinces, but believes whoever wins the provincial finals will rise to the occasion at the national finals.
“The teams that qualified for the provincial finals are the powerhouses. You look at Prince Edward, Churchill, Lord Malvern and Oriel Boys. All have won or have reached the finals. So this should be Harare’s year. The same for the girls, Vainona have quite a good team, Seke 1 and Glen Norah 2, they are doing so well. I watched them play.
“So any team that wins, we are 100 percent sure this time it’s going to be a good year for Harare. We have been working towards it. With due respect to other provinces, soccer has developed. But I think Harare has the edge over other provinces this time around because we have been active since first term, which was not the case with some of the provinces.
“We organised a five-a-side tournament and I am sure this has improved the performance of our teams,” Matemavi said.
Four-time champions Churchill are up against Tafara 1 High and Glen Norah 2 in Group C while in Group A, the spotlight will be on Prince Edward and Oriel Boys.
They will be joined by Zengeza 1.
In the girls section, former champions Vainona will clash with Mufakose and Seke 1 in Group C. The winners from the event will represent the province in Zvishavane next month. Matemavi said apart from the draw, they had a fruitful meeting where they deliberated on several issues around their provincial finals.
“We worked on management, where we were saying all teams should arrive early so that we will be able to finish on time. We discussed the issue of documentation, the teams should bring the correct documents. We also looked at issues like cheating, where we strongly warned teams against cheating. There will be $500 fine per player. But from the discussions we had, we are not expecting any problems,” said Matemavi.
Group A: Prince Edward, Zengeza 1, Oriel Boys School.
Group B: Mufakose 2 High, Kuwadzana 2 High, Lord Malvern.
Group C: Churchill, Tafara 1 High, Glen Norah 2.
Group A: Dzivarasekwa 2, Oriel Girls School, Lord Malvern.
Group B: George Stark, Glen Norah 2, Marlborough.
Group C: Mufakose 3, Vainona, Seke 1.