Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AUSTRALIA-BASED Bernard Muchemwa has joined the league of Zimbabweans based outside the country that are making efforts to contribute to local football through the development and nurturing of young talent.
Muchemwa is heading for a football revolution in Sydney, Australia, with his Zimbabwe Warriors Australia, a group of young Zimbabweans residing in Australia.
This is an ambitious project to produce the next generation of good footballers and candidates for junior and senior national teams back home.
And also help the young players attain the highest level in their football as he uses innovative and improvised techniques to impart the kids with not only football skills but lifelong skills.
The programme focuses on young players from the age of five to 21. These players have huge potential and are hungry for success. He tutors and mentors them.
Manasseh Samuriwo, Wesley Magwendeza, Kagisho Pitso, Obey Chingorivo, Munya Muchemwa and Munya Magwaro are some of the talented players that are involved in Muchemwa’s project.
While most of them are attached to good clubs in Australia, he feels that they are rough diamonds who need polishing by helping them in those aspects the clubs do not focus on as most clubs in Australia focus on winning, leaving most of them with a dearth of individual skills needed at the highest level.
His passion is to help the players develop individually, technically and mentally. Some of the boys are eyeing overseas markets and this goes a long way to help them achieve their dreams.
Presently Muchemwa is the president of the African Nations Cup a prestigious tournament which is a miniature replica of the biennial AFCON held on the continent. But they hold it every summer with 20 teams involved, 500 players, 100 officials, 20 referees and over 5 000 fans. It is a mimic of the continental supreme competition.
He has been at the helm for the past four years with another seven as treasurer general.
His young lads running under the banner, Zimbabwe Australia take part in this and this is where they are meant to be immersed into the grit of African football.
The competition is hotly contested and a good platform for them to showcase their talents and further hone their skills.
Plans are afoot to set up a few of them for overseas trials.
According to Muchemwa one of the boys has already toured Zimbabwe with the Team Zimbabwe UK in May this year.
Team Zimbabwe UK has made an impact through their initiative which is meant to give young Zimbabwean players, either born in Europe or America an opportunity to showcase their talent and in the process get a chance to get included in the national teams.
Muchemwa is a passionate past footballer and keen football fanatic, a former University of Zimbabwe soccer captain and Prince Edward High School player affectionately monikered “Captain Bento” by a legion of fans at the 12 000 strong Higher Institution of learning.
He is a holder of FIFA accredited coaching certificates which he acquired when he was still a student himself in Zimbabwe.