The Sunday Mail
PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) coaches have been urged to cast their nets wider to tap into the vast rural talent, some of which has gone unnoticed.
Former Warriors striker Luke Petros Jukulile was in Hwedza on Sunday, where he watched “some exciting players” that were on show during the BG Sniper Choto Football Tournament, which was held at Mhembwe Grounds.
Jukulile is now coaching at Tenax, who have merged with his former paymasters WhaWha.
Both Tenax and Whawha were relegated from the PSL in 2022.
“Some of the players that we saw in Hwedza were very good, but, sadly, that talent goes unnoticed,” said Jukulile.
“It’s a good gesture by Choto to organise these kind of tournaments, which give rural-based players a chance to showcase their talent and market themselves.
“I am a regular guest at this tournament, and I can testify that some of the players, especially the goalkeepers that I saw on Sunday, are exciting and good enough to play at least Division One football.
“That is why I am urging fellow coaches to cast their nets wider and also tap into rural talent, which is indeed vast.”
The BG Sniper Choto Tournament is sponsored by businessman Parkston Choto, who hails from Hwedza.
It has laid the ground for a number of players, some of whom are now on the verge of playing Premiership football.
Teenage midfielder Tatenda Mutaya is on Black Rhinos’ radar after Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa was impressed by the 19-year-old.
Mutizwa is also assessing Courage Chakudunga and Johannes Nyahuye.
Allan Masaya, who was at WhaAha last season, and Tadiwanashe Mhinyu (now with ZPC) are some of the players that were identified at the BG Sniper Choto Tournament.
“We could do better as a country if we put more resources into talent identification. There is a lot of talent in the rural areas, but the boys there have a disadvantage because of their remote locations.
“But, if we can have more people like Choto who organise football tournaments in rural areas, then we will have created more platforms for these rural boys to shine and market themselves,” said Jukulile.
Several teams from Hwedza, including Sango United, Chisasike, Mhembwe, Mhakwe and Goto, compete in the tourney.
Select sides from Harare and Chinhoyi also took part.