Chirambadare sets up football academy

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The quest to take Zimbabwe soccer to its former glory has gathered momentum on the back of soccer academies which are sprouting across the country, amid signs football is set to see better things.

One such academy is the Revival Junior Football Programme in Mufakose, run by Stanley Chirambadare the former Dynamos left-back popularly known as “Samora” in football circles.

The programme was established in 2009 and is part of the Mufakose District Junior Football League, for which he is founding chairman.

The league is an affiliate of Zimbabwe Football Association and comprises six teams of four age groups from Under-10 to Under-17. It is expected that more clubs would join the league in 2012 and beyond.

Chirambadare said the aim of the programme was not only to develop soccer talent, but to provide recreational opportunities for the youths, most of whom are orphans.

The programme has also gone a long way in helping reduce crime and drug abuse in the high-density suburb of Mufakose and Chirambadare views it as a way of giving back to the community in which he grew up.

“Our aim is to equip the youths especially orphans with football skills, create a platform for bursaries and reduce drug abuse which is prevalent in Mufakose. Children are perishing due to drugs such as krango.

Youths should have focus and discipline and the academy is best placed to equip them with these crucial life attributes,” said Chirambadare.

“The academy has been doing well, but can do with financial support given the prevailing economic environment which makes it hard to finance its running.”

Chirambadare is financing the programme from his pocket and is appealing to organisations, associations, churches, unions and individuals for sponsorship to take it to the next level.

“We are looking for sponsors to finance the programme in buying uniforms, balls, materials for tournaments and even paying fees for the orphaned players,” said Chirambadare.

The soccer legend is looking forward one day to receive money from Zifa Junior Football Development funds. “Zifa is given development funds by Fifa which should come our way.

We are pleading to the Zifa junior chairman to extend the facility to the academies,” said Chirambadare.

He bemoaned the fact Mufakose has no stadium unlike other high-density suburbs namely Highfield which has Gwanzura, Mbare and Tafara-Mabvuku.

Surprisingly, Mufakose produced footballers of high calibre, current Soccer Star of the Year, Washington Arubi, Ramson Zhuwawo, Khama Billiat and Joel Shambo, among others, all come from “Mufombi”.

Chirambadare said there is need to make use of recreation centres which have since been turned into maize fields by residents.

“Recreation centres are now deplorable and other people are using the space for agriculture purposes. These centres need to be refurbished and we can make use of them with these academies. On the other hand, there is need for parental support for the good upkeep of children especially those pursuing their talents.

“There is a big challenge in high-density areas as very few parents appreciate football. There is need for co-operation between parents and football organisers,” said Chirambadare.

The players practice four times during the week at Mufakose High 3 which provides them playgrounds for free and during the weekends they play matches against teams in the league.

Through this programme, the children who finish their Grade 7 are enrolled at both Mufakose High 2 and Mufakose High 3 schools which are sports oriented.

Chirambadare hopes to join the competitive leagues in the future with his vision being to establish a team that will represent Mufakose in the Premier Soccer League.