DESPITE casting his net wider to look for Diaspora-based players, Zimbabwe Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya has not turned his back on local talent. He believes they form the bedrock of the national teams.
Ndiraya, whose Young Warriors face South Africa in a final CAF Under-23 African Cup of Nations qualifier, took time this week to conduct a two-day coaching clinic for 20 players.
They were picked from the newly-established Under-21 Challenge Football league.
And the Young Warriors mentor liked what he saw at Hellenic Sports Club.
The CFL was established to create a pathway to the professional game and ensure that players aged between 18 to 21 are developed further while playing competitive football.
The former Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars coach took the outfield players through their drills, with Nelson Simbanegavi providing the goalkeepers with an intense programme.
“Premier Soccer League clubs will definitely be scouting the quality in this league as development is not their primary business,’’ said Ndiraya.
“This is a well-organised league and you have been provided with an opportunity to train and improve. You must always play to your best, as you never know who is watching you. Development is the Challenge Football League. This is a great initiative and ensures that our young players stay in football and have a place to play whilst they develop.
“It is important that corporates financially support such programmes as I can definitely see future national team players.”
Former Dynamos captain Justice Majabvi, now the CFL manager, also added his voice on the role the academies are playing in the development of young talent.
“We have created a league brand that is focused on quality over quantity. It is one of the reasons we have begun the league with six academies. We want to ensure we provide the young players with the best and that we produce the best. In order to achieve our goals, we need financial support and to co-brand with visionary companies that believe in educating, equipping and empowering young players,” Majabvi said.
The CFL has taken a break for the Easter holidays, but will resume on April 27 with some potentially exciting games on the cards.
Fixtures: April 27
Legends vs Eagles (11am)
Cranborne vs Galaxy (1pm)
DC Academy vs Sportsvale (3pm)