By Tadious Manyepo
Manchester United chief scout and UEFA instructor, Tommy Moller Nielsen, could be on his way to Zimbabwe this December.
This is a landmark development which could see him conducting coaching clinics for locals as well as scouting young talent.
The visit is being facilitated by the Team Zimbabwe-UK chief executive, Marshal Gore, who has been working tirelessly to make a difference to local football.
Nielsen, a holder of a UEFA Pro Licence, has expressed interest in visiting the country on a scouting mission as well as conducting some coaching clinics for the Zimbabwean coaches.
Gore said they were running around to seal the deal which could open several opportunities for players and coaches in Europe since Nielsen is well-connected across that continent.
“We have secured an agreement in principle with Manchester United Football Club for one of their chief scouts, Tommy Moller Nielsen, to visit Zimbabwe on a scouting tour and assess potential talent.
“We are still finalising on the dates but it’s most likely to be in December this year.
“We will organise matches in Zimbabwe as soon as we finalise the dates. We are working with the Sports Commission, ZIFA as well as the Premier Soccer League in this. “So, as soon as we are done with organising the dates, then we will be in a position to tell which games, in particular, will suit the criteria he wants to pick the players from.
“But, I am sure, young players from academies stand a better chance of making the grade.
“The systems here support young players’ development and it will be good for the country if we were to see three or four of our players being seconded to Manchester United juniors.
“Obviously, Nielsen will be accompanied by several others who could as well take aboard other impressive players.”
Gore, who has been the ZIFA representative in Europe since 2015, is largely credited for opening the way for Zimbabwean players based in the diaspora to play for the national team. Such players as Warriors captain Alec Mudimu, Tendayi Darikwa, who plays for English Championship side Nottingham Forest, as well as Leicester City centre forward Admiral Muskwe, were linked to the national team by Gore.
Young Warriors stars, who include goalkeeper Martin Mapisa and Seth Patrick, also came through him.
In May this year, Gore organised a visit for the Zimbabwe diaspora team which played a couple of friendly matches against local teams.
Gore said the diaspora team will again visit the country next year.
“Next year, Team Zimbabwe UK will tour the country once again and, resources permitting, a Diaspora tournament will be held in Zimbabwe.”