Stars of the future

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Eliot Chitiyo, owner of Sports Excel Academy renowned for producing stars like Dynamos’ midfielder Nicholas Alifandika, has started the process of reviving his football academy which had collapsed at the height of the economical meltdown in 2008.

A total of 113 kids, of three age groups, namely the Under-13, Under-15 and the Under-17, have already been enrolled at the academy in Chitungwiza’s Unit L suburb.

“I started this project in 2006, but it died in 2008 due to financial constraints,” said Chitiyo yesterday.

“Because I have this big passion for football I have decided to start the academy again. It is my way to keep all these children away from the streets and from doing mischievous things.”

The ambitious Chitiyo said his dream was to produce players that would play for the Warriors.

He singled out three players in his group who he said were destined for greatness.

“I can assure you that in five years’ time I will have players playing for the Warriors from this group.

All the players are good, but like in any team there are outstanding performers. There is Micah Sakala and Kudakwashe Musiyarira in the Under-17, those two players have showed immense potential. I will have to find them teams in the Premier League next season; they are ripe for the big stage now.

I also have Odwell Makasa in the Under-13 squad, he is a fine player. I can see him graduating to the Zimbabwe Under-20 team in the next four years, mark my words.

I have produced players like Alifandika and Evans Mwanza (former Caps United striker) and I can promise you more are coming,” said Chitiyo.

He added: “The biggest problem i have now is lack of sponsorship. I’m appealing to the corporate world to help me with sporting equipment so that i can help these youngsters to live their dream.”

The academy has only two balls, 15 bibs and 38 cones which are shared among all the players at the academy.