The Sunday Mail
AFTER producing Prosper “Kante” Padera, who is regarded as one of the country’s top football prospects, Mutare-based MAJESA Academy will be showcasing their latest products at an international scouting tournament set for Harare next month.
Padera (16) was discovered in Marange and has since been sent to Brooke House College in the United Kingdom on a US$130,000 footballing scholarship, courtesy of Prime Time Academy.
Prime Time Academy, who were founded by former Southampton striker Dexter Blackstock, will host an International Combine for 500 footballers aged between 14 and 21 from across Zimbabwe and the region in Harare on April 15.
Blackstock developed an interest in Zimbabwean football talent after attending the inaugural Marvelous Nakamba Foundation Under-17 tournament held in Bulawayo last year.
The tournament was won by MAJESA Academy with Padera impressive as a defensive midfielder.
MAJESA will send eight players for the International Combine, and their director Charles Chave is confident “a couple of their players” will catch the eye of scouts.
“We are definitely going to send eight players for this prestigious International Combine because we know it will create the necessary link for our players,” Chave told The Sunday Mail Sport.
“One of our products Padera is already in England courtesy of Prime Time Academy, and we are confident more of our boys will follow suit.
“I would like to thank Blackstock for creating these links, it’s good for Zimbabwean football.”
Several scouts from England, Germany and Portugal will attend the Combine which runs at Alexandria Sports Club in Harare from April 15-19.
“Prime Time International Academy is bringing scouts from European clubs, colleges and tertiary education institutions to watch the very best of Zimbabwe and Southern African talent.
“This Combine is the first of its kind to be held in Zimbabwe, and it will elevate the status of the nation to that of a hub where the region’s best footballing talent gets a shot at the biggest leagues in Europe,” said Blackstock.
Blackstock also played for Nottingham Forest and Leeds as well as England’s national Youths teams.
“The arrival of all these scouts is because of Prime Time Academy’s international network, connections and affiliation with football academies and clubs in Europe.
“Moreover, Prime Time is eager to work with the Premier Soccer League clubs, their academies and stand-alone academies to give Zimbabwean talent an avenue into European football leagues,” said Blackstock.
Already, Padera, a rural boy who was raised under harsh conditions in Marange, is slowly taking steps towards playing top football in Europe.
“Prosper (Padera) impressed the Prime Time directors, not only with his ability but also with a mentality that showed that he was ready to make the step up to compete against the best academies in the English Premiership like Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool,” added Blackstock.