Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
HARARE’S representatives in the boys section at the 30th edition of the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament national finals in Zvishavane, Prince Edward School, are in a bullish mood as they seek to lift the trophy for the first time.
Participating teams in the tournament for the Under-15 boys and girls are expected in Zvishavane today and will go through the vetting process ahead of the matches that kick-off tomorrow.
Prince Edward coach Pathias Mauto said they would want their current crop of players to do the honours for the school by winning the tournament for the first time.
“I think now we are well prepared and we are ready for the national finals. My target is getting that trophy, that’s our target since January, and we are one step close.
“We have never won the trophy before, so I think that will make history if we win. We are going to do our best to bring back the trophy,” said Mauto.
Prince Edward are up against hosts Mandava and Mutare Boys High from Manicaland in Group A.
Mauto said they were not reading much into their opponents and they will be ready to face any team that comes their way.
“I think the key thing is to make our system rise, the way we play. We are not looking for names, we are going to face whoever comes our way.
“We are not up for names, we are up for football, so whoever comes our way we play,” said Mauto.
In the girls section Harare will be represented by former champions Vainona, who will also be hoping to find the winning formula that saw them being crowned champions in 2011 and 2012.
The matches will be spread at various venues including at Mandava, Maglas and Shabanie Primary.
The finals will be at Mandava on Saturday.
Head in charge of football for Midlands, Eunias Zhou, said they are ready for the national finals and urged community to come and support the teams representing the province.
“I am encouraging all people in Zvishavane who can manage, to come and witness the national finals. It’s a once in a life-time opportunity.
“In the history of Copa Coca-Cola this is the first time Zvishavane is hosting. They should come and rally behind their teams,” said Zhou.
Midlands provided the 2011 boys winners, Manunure, and are hoping their representatives this year can go all the way and claim the title.
The province has four schools competing in the finals — Guinea Fowl, the provincial winners and host Mandava in the boys section. In the girls competition they will be pinning their hopes on provincial winners Chamakanda and hosts Zvishavane.
This year marks the 30th anniversary for the Copa Coca-Cola tournament that has grown in leaps and bounds.
Copa Coca-Cola national finals teams
Boys: Prince Edward (Harare), Mutare Boys High (Manicaland), Kanyemba (Mashonaland Central), Mtshabezi (Matabeleland South), Pamushana (Masvingo), Mpopoma (Bulawayo), Waddilove (Mashonaland East), Somvubu (Matabeleland North), Pfupajena (Mashonaland West), Guinea Fowl (Midlands), Mandava (host, Midlands), Rusununguko (defending champions, Mashonaland East).
Girls: Vainona (Harare), Nyamauru (Manicaland), Gweshe (Mashonaland Central), Thekwane (Matabeleland South), Birivenge (Masvingo), Mpopoma (Bulawayo), Chenhuta (Mashonaland East), Simbo (Matabeleland North), Mwami (Mashonaland West), Chamakanda (Midlands), Zvishavane High (host, Midlands), Chidyamakono (defending champions, Masvingo).