Collin Matiza Sports Editor
AFTER securing a contract for young UK-based Zimbabwean footballer Sharma Bako in Germany last week, junior football coach Phillip Zulu wants to invade the German market.
Bako joined the Under-19 side of German Bundesliga Fourth Division club VfB Lubeck on a one-year deal.
And the UK-based Zimbabwean coach yesterday told The Herald his main wish is to see more young players from his motherland breaking into the tough European league in the future.
He said his 18-year-old son, Martin Nkululeko, has just signed a contract with a German lower division side Swanheim Germania 06 for their Under-19 second division team in the Bundesliga “and it’s a major step towards top-flight professional football”.
“We also have another young Zimbabwean player, Brighton Makwedza, who is also having trials in Germany and we could end up having four Zimbabweans in the German leagues soon,” Zulu said.
Zulu believes the move by Zimbabwean players to the modest German clubs could provide the platform to move into more competitive leagues in Europe since it is difficult to secure a direct ticket to the big clubs.
Countries like Germany, Belgium and France have often helped talented young African players to break into lucrative football leagues like the English Premiership and the Spanish La Liga because they are easily identified by the international scouts.
Martin Zulu first went to Frankfurt, Germany, three weeks ago and he initially trained with Darmstadt FC 98 for a week.
He did well there and was linked with Swanheim Germania 06 where he signed last Thursday.
“He will be playing in the second tier of the youth Bundesliga which is a very competitive league in Europe.
“It’s renowned for developing young players comprehensively hence our desire in pursuing this opportunity,” Phillip Zulu said.
Martin Zulu was born in Harare in 2000 and left Zimbabwe for the UK when he was two years old in 2002.
“In 2010, he was invited by the then Brazilian Soccer Schools programme that he trained with for four years and participated in a friendly game between Garforth Town FC and Chesterfield FC where our first encounter with Tendayi Darikwa took place.
“Martin has been to a number of top academies locally (in UK) and abroad. He was pivotal in the formation of the Futsal Academy that we ran under Super Eagles Futsal Juniors for more than five years since 2010 where he gelled with many young gifted technical players like Arnold Ndiweni (Mansfield Town YouthFC), Bobby Kwame (Leeds United), Moses Abiyoye (formerly Leeds United FC Youth), Clark Odour (Leeds United), Sammy Amissah (Leeds United) and many others who are playing in the lower levels professional football in England,” Phillip said.