Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
UNITED States-based football development coach David Casper is expected to jet into the country on Thursday for a scouting mission aimed at giving selected youngsters between 16 and 20 years old an opportunity to study in the United States.
Payne Global Sports have organised the trials that will be graced by Casper of the University of Kentucky.
The first trials will be held in Bulawayo on Friday, with the second set for Hwange on Saturday.
Lovemore Dube, Payne Global Sports’ local agent, said only footballers with at least five O-Level subjects will be considered at the trials.
“We’re pleased to announce that Zifa Southern Region has given Payne Global Sports permission to conduct trials for players between 16-20 with five O-Levels or better. Respected American development coach David Casper of the University of Kentucky will arrive on 16 March in Bulawayo.
“His first trials will be in Bulawayo on 17 March 2017 and the second in Hwange on 18 March. Only players who bring their birth certificates and O or A-Level results will be allowed to train.
“Once the coach is impressed with what he has seen, it will be left to us to facilitate the visa application process,” Dube said.
Arnold Payne, a former Zimbabwe 400m record holder who also represented the country at the All-Africa Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships, heads the Payne Global Sports division which seeks to provide a platform for promising athletes to advance their talent and academics.
Last year, renowned world track and field athletics coach American Darryl Anderson conducted a workshop for athletes and coaches in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and Arnold Payne Global Sports International in Bulawayo.
Meanwhile, Zifa Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza welcomed the Payne Global Sports initiative, saying it would go a long way towards developing Zimbabwean athletes.
“This is a plausible initiative which we need to support for the development of sport. As Zifa Southern Region, we support anything to do with development of sport and as custodians of football in this region, we’ve given Payne Global Sports the greenlight to hold their trials in Bulawayo and Hwange,” said Mandaza.