Academy players optimistic

Grace Chingoma

Senior Sports Reporter

THE Archieford Gutu Academy players are optimistic that they will be able secure professional football contracts in the near future after their United Arab Emirates tour.

The lengthy Dubai tour afforded 17 players that made the trip an opportunity to train and interact with youthful players from other countries.

Speaking to The Herald before their return, the players were excited of the opportunity they got from their director Archieford Gutu.

The Academy’s skipper Blessing Jonas said since he joined the academy that is owned by former Zimbabwe international midfielder Gutu, his football journey has been enriching.

“My expriences at AG Academy have been a great experience with our mentors who have helped me to become a great gentleman l am in and outside the field.

“The academy has so far helped me by exposing me to different languages, culture and different styles of play by taking me to Cape Town Spurs, where l had gone for trials and gainig experiences of how different people take different approaches to football,” said Jonasi.

The 21-year- old said the tour will help them grow as athletes.

“Archieford’s expriences as a player have also nurtured us. He has also helped us with various links by taking us to Dubai where we are also learning and experiencing a different kind of game which is helping us grow as players, mastering and getting better at the game.

“I personally expect the experiences to help me secure a professional contract in the future. I also expect AG Academy to help the future of Zimbabwean football and have an impact,” said Jonasi.

Tinashe Gutu, a 19-year- old attacking midfielder, says he has been learning a lot from the former DeMbare and CAPS United player (Archieford Gutu) who was also had stints with South African Premiership side Ajax Cape Town and Swedish sides Kalmar and IFK Varnamo.

“I joined the Academy in November last year and my experiences with the academy have been great so far. We are in the UAE, getting more chance to play, training in different weather conditions and interacting with other players from different countries which has been a great exposure for me.

‘’With the help of Archieford, he played as an attacking midfiedler so the training we have been getting is specifically good for us as midfielders. It has been a great experience on and off the field and l hope the Academy will push for us to get professional contracts in the near future.’’

Tomudaishe Zaranyika, a winger, believes that the academy will help him and other youthful players who want to transform their lives through football.

“I joined the academy in August and since then l have learnt a lot as a person and as a player. We follow rules at the academy that make us better people and players. We have been training with different coaches who carry on different styles of play and different formations that have demonstrated to us that we can cope with change easily. From the experienced Gutu, l have learnt to use my strenght and have more confidence in myself as a player.

“In Dubai, we have had an opportunity to learn how they play football. Being exposed to different players of different nations gave me ideas on how to improve my play in the field. I am very confident that change is going to happen with Zimbabwean football and a lot of players will graduate from the academy and get contracts outside the country” said Zaranyika.

Tadiwanashe Kuyera is also confident of securing a contract.

“Our trip to the UAE was great as it exposed us to a new environment, gaining great experience which we beleive we will make us benefit in our careers and also benefit the academy. We are looking forward to signing professional contracts and l believe with our training and motivational advice from our board we will make it,” he said.

The academy that is based at Mount Pleasant High School opened its doors to players last year. The ambitious academy is adopting a fresh way of grooming and exposing talent.

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