SCORES of footballers, driven by the ambition to probably trace the footsteps of Marvelous Nakamba, are expected to converge at Prince Edward School this morning. It’s the first of two days of an ambitious scouting mission by an international cast of scouts.
Dubbed “The World’s Biggest Scouting Event”, the mission, whose general coordinator is Nigeria’s Moo Muhammed Mustapha, will hold the scouting programme this weekend in Harare before the show moves to Bulawayo.
The international scouts, who would normally have little consideration about coming to Zimbabwe, have descended on this country in search of fresh talent after being impressed by the way Nakamba has settled at Aston Villa in the English Premiership.
Dynamic African Stars Agency, whose headquarters are in Nigeria, are driving the project, and are on a mission to “discover grassroots talents and connect them to their dreams.’’
They say they were committed at recruiting talent, which in countries like Zimbabwe, could go unnoticed by some European clubs and then use their connections to tie such players to their dream move.
They are looking at players between 13 and 25 years, and according to the enquiries which they have been receiving in the past few days, the organisers believe there could be a huge turnout today.
“Our goal is to discover talent, develop and connect them to their dreams of playing football in Europe, Asia, North America and all the best teams in the world,’’ the agency said.
“In addition, we will not only connect them, but manage their career and make sure they invest wisely for a better future.
“To achieve all this, we have professionals that handle all departments, ranging from talent discovery, talent development sessions, connected and highly-influential agents and top professionals in career management.
“We also specialise in sport events, professional players and coaches management, soccer tournaments, schools and international summer camps, pre-season tours for professional teams and pre-tournament camping for national teams.’’
The agency, who have also brought in a Portuguese scout, said they have been impressed by how well Nakamba has settled well in the English Premiership, where he has been producing some man-of-the-match displays at his new club. The Zimbabwe international is set to feature in a league match against Brighton and Hove at Villa Park today.
Moo Mohammed Mustapha, a Nigerian who is based in Russia, but has a vast array of contacts across the global football world, is leading the mission here.
Mustapha arrived in the country together with a Portuguese scout Miguel Angelo Ferreira Almeida. They have roped in former Warriors defender Dickson Choto, who even took his local club, DC Academy, into the ZIFA Northern Region Division One League.
Choto is working in conjunction with former CAPS United defender Charles Manjera, who has also been running his football academy in Chitungwiza.
“We have earmarked six countries for this event this year. Zimbabwe is our second destination after we did one such event in Nigeria,’’ said Mustapha.
“We saw it fit to come to Zimbabwe, which we felt was being underrated when one looks at the talent that is in this country. After the displays by Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, we thought if Nakamba can do that, then how many other players, who are like him, can also be found in Zimbabwe?
“It means there are a lot other players who might be lacking the necessary exposure. This is why we decided to settle for Zimbabwe as one of the beneficiaries of this very first event of its kind. Several teams in Spain, Russia, Portugal, Greece and many others countries have expressed interest in taking on board Zimbabwean players. So, the tournament at the weekend is a huge opportunity for both professional and amateur players to come and showcase their talent.
“As organisers of this event, we would like to thank Zimbabwe Football Association, the Sports and Recreation Commission, as well as the Premier Soccer League for giving us the leeway to conduct this event here.”