NASH concludes  Under-20 provincial finals Proton Bakeries Chief Marketing Manager, Daniel Chipato, said the level of competition displayed in the provincial finals blew them away.

Tadious ManyepoSports Reporter 

ALL is set for the two-day annual Proton-Surrey Nash Under-20 national football finals to be staged at Kwekwe High starting on Friday following the provincial finals held over the weekend.

The schools boys tournament is returning after a two-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the finals are promising glitz and glamour given the height of competition displayed from the zonal levels.

Twelve teams, the defending champions Rusununguko High and the hosts Kwekwe High as well as the winners of 10 provincial finals, will battle it out for the ultimate prize.

Goromonzi High School beat Waddilove High 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw in the final to claim the Mashonaland East ticket at Marondera High last Friday.

They had beaten the hosts 2-1 in the semi-finals while Waddilove had eliminated holders Rusununguko High at the same stage via a penalty lottery.

Gumbonzvanda, Cheunje, Murape, Nyamuzuwe and St Francis of Assisi were the other competitors in the Mashonaland East finals.

And it’s now down to Goromonzi  and Rusununguko, who are from the same district, to make sure the trophy returns to Mashonaland East.

But they will battle it out against some of the best in the land with Allan Wilson (Harare), Mzilikazi (Bulawayo), Mutero (Masvingo), Rio Tinto (Midlands) and Rugeko (Mashonaland West), among others for the crown.

Proton Bakeries Chief Marketing Manager, Daniel Chipato, said the level of competition displayed in the provincial finals blew them away.

“The competition was very high. As the sponsors of this tournament, we are very happy to see that happening and happy to nurture future talent,” said Chipato.

“We are happy to see the tournament back in the fold after a two-year disturbance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s unfortunate, probably we lost the next Peter Ndlovu in the wave, maybe through indulgence or lack of interest after the passion was killed by the epidemic.

“But we are happy, we can help the next generation again.

“We are happy to see the players competing again and the talent they displayed in the provincial finals was encouraging.

“We will be bringing a lot of scouts in the national finals in Kwekwe and we expect to see even better competition. We have nurtured a lot of players playing at different professional levels right now and we are happy.”

The tournament was launched six years ago and beginning next year, it will incorporate girls’ football as well while plans are underway to also include other sport codes.

Rusununguko beat Mt Pleasant High to win the national finals at Marondera High in the last edition held in 2019.

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