Story by Josh Munthali
THE Jadel Football Academy youth invitational development tournament returns this Thursday with 10 teams participating at Prince Edward School in Harare.
The tournament, which is the brainchild of China-based former youth international, Walter Musanhu, is aimed at giving back to the community as well as developing youths into responsible citizens by giving them a career pathway through football.
The tournament is making a welcome return after a two-year break due to COVID-19 and is targeting youths to abstain from drugs and sexual activities at a tender age.
“There are 10 academies drawn from across the country and trying to identify talented players and develop them,” said Jadel Football Academy Administrator, Nyasha Kadenge.
Former Zimbabwe international, Edward ‘Duduza” Sadomba, a product of youth development, praised the tournament saying it would give youths a better future and football as a career.
“It’s a good tournament, we are fighting drugs in the community and need to catch the youths whilst they are still young. This a very good initiative and we are here to support it. People should come in numbers and enjoy the tournament,” he said.
First, the tournament will also see an all-female referee team take charge of the games.
“It’s not only an honour and a privilege, but it’s the first time for us to receive soccer kits from the tournament that has ever happened, and we are very grateful for this and want to thank them for this opportunity given to youths to showcase their talent,” said female Referee, Primrose Serima.
Launched in 2019 in Beijing, China by former Motor-Action FC player Walter Musanhu, the tournament was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jadel Football Academy has since launched a local branch which is spearheading youth development.
The 10 local teams will play group matches and the winners will proceed to the semi-finals, with a trophy for the winning team and awards for outstanding players up for grabs.