The Sunday Mail
REAL Betis Academy Zimbabwe coach Murape Murape believes cooperation amongst youth football development teams could be key to unlock the country’s potential to unearth and develop future stars.
The former Dynamos captain is excited with the relationship his academy has established with MAJESA of Mutare, who are the reigning champions of the Marvelous Nakamba Foundation Under-17 tournament.
MAJESA, who are coached by former Motor Action star Samson Kabwe, are now ranked as one of the best academies in the country.
Real Betis Academy and MAJESA square up in a mouth-watering junior football clash at The Heritage School in Borrowdale on Saturday.
MAJESA have some of the finest junior players in the land, and their star player, Prosper “Kante” Padera, is set for trials in Turkey later this year.
“Youth football is not about winning; it’s about developing the right players who will go on and be role models and good professionals.
“For us (Betis Academy), to be able to play MAJESA’s Under-19 team helps us to gauge our progress on how far we have come and how far we have to go,” said Murape.
Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe was launched in 2020 and now has structures in Bulawayo, where Gift Lunga is the coach.
“The first year we were affected by Covid-19; it kind of stalled our recruitment. But this year we have been building and developing structures, implementing our Real Betis methodology and philosophy.
“It’s been exciting. The players are developing, progressing and responding very well to the training sessions that we receive from our technical director, Juan Parra.”
Murape, a product of Dynamos’ once-vibrant junior policy, hopes his side can forge a fruitful relationship with MAJESA and other youth development teams.
“MAJESA have been doing well with their players. Their developmental structures are strong.
“Youth football collaborations are key. For us to reach international standards with our junior players, this is what we want.
“Hopefully, we will also go and play them in Mutare. That can help us grow youth football in the country,” said Murape.