Cloud Fusire Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha believes that the future of the domestic game can only be guaranteed through establishment of junior leagues and has hailed Harare’s Under-21 Challenge Football League which burst into life at the start of this month.
Nengomasha spent 11 years at Chiefs at a time when Amakhosi were the dominant force in South Africa and has since his retirement dedicated more of his time into developing upcoming talent.
The former Zimbabwe and Chiefs midfield general, also a Castle 5s ambassador, visited Hellenic Sports Club to watch the Under-21 CFL and liked what he saw.
Nengomasha also acknowledged that during his years at Chiefs, he saw how much the Soweto giants and many South African Premiership teams invested in youth football and said he was happy that the CFL was providing players between 18 and 21 age-groups with a platform to play regular football.
In order to stay fit, Nengomasha is also playing football for a social outfit, Ambassadors, which includes a number of former local Premiership players.
The Ambassadors believe in giving back to the sport by encouraging positive development and warning young players against pitfalls such as smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Nengomasha said he also endorsed the CFL after observing that they were “implementing what they pledged to do upon establishment, which includes creating a pathway to the professional game and ensuring that players aged between 18 to 21 developed further whilst playing competitive football’’.
“The Under-21 Challenge Football League is a good platform for young players to nurture their talent and become better players.
“They can then represent the national teams and move on to greener pastures in South Africa or Europe.
“I am happy with the commitment of all the clubs that are involved and this league can only grow stronger,” said Nengomasha.
Some of the retired players now involved with the Ambassadors include Masimba Dinyero, Dickson Choto, Fungai Tostao Kwashi, Ashley Rambanepasi, Justice Majabvi and David Sengu; and they took time to interact with the CFL players, sharing life and football experiences.
Away from the interaction between the young players and their predecessors, the CFL was back in action after taking an Easter holidays break, with Cranborne emerging the biggest winners following an emphatic 4-1 win over Galaxy.
Rasaid Samangika grabbed a brace in the second and 69th minute, while Denzel Dhimingo and Takunda Tanaka scored within two minutes of each other in the 47th and 49th minute to ensure victory for Cranborne
Legends, for whom Douglas Mapfumo once again found the target, had to come from behind to force a 2-2 draw with Eagles, while Blessing Chipadze (17th minutes) and Gerald Bhoko, after 41 minutes, found the goals that helped DC to a 2-1 victory over Sportsvale.
Legends 2, Eagles 2; DC Academy 2, Sportsvale 1; Cranborne 4, Galaxy 1.