Tapera hunts Europe -based youths


Newly-appointed Zimbabwe national Under-20 coach Jairos Tapera says he will consider Europe-based youngsters in his team, as preparations for the 2013 African Youth Championships qualifying campaign kick off.

Zimbabwe will next month begin their bid for a place at the 19th edition of the continental championships to be held in Algeria when they play the winner between Malawi and Zambia, who are battling in the preliminary stages.

Trevor Mutero and US-based Tinotenda Chibharo were called up for national duty with the national Under-20 and U-23 teams. Some Zimbabwean youths play either for developmental or reserve sides of English clubs in League One which is just two tiers below the Premiership.

Fifteen-year-old Brendan Galloway is with the first team of League One squad Milton Keynes Dons while defender Farai Hallam is with another League One outfit Stevenage reserves. He captains the club’s youth team.

At Barnet, still in League One, the Zimbabwean duo of Lyle Orange and Mikaeel White (both 17) are regulars in the developmental team, while their compatriot Tinashe Ibrahims is with the club’s youth squad.

Another overlooked player is attacking midfielder Cecil Nyoni who is at Sheffield Wednesday as well as Warriors great Madinda Ndlovu’s son Ingo Madinda Ndlovu (Jr) who is at Sheffield United, a former club of his uncle Peter.

Mthulisi Lofetso is with the reserves of Russian top-flight league side Krylia Sovetov Samara.
According to reports from England, Munyaradzi Mbanje is making waves in the youth team of Championship side Leeds United. Players whose teammates are called for duty by their respective countries also include Munya Jaravaza, who is at Barton Rovers and Ardley United’s Innocent Dzviti. Tapera feels these youngsters would bring a lot of value in his team.

“Yes, I have heard a lot about these players and I want to find every one of them so that I take a look at them.

“Their experience in Europe, where they are exposed to world-class football facilities and highly qualified coaches, make them valuable players. But the most important thing is that I will have to assess them first because playing in Europe does not guarantee automatic entry into the first team,” said Tapera.

Tapera and his assistants George Madira and Labani Kandi will this weekend conduct trials for their team in Mutare, Bulawayo and Kwekwe.

“This is the time to prepare for the team to be ready for anyone. On Saturday, I will be in Kwekwe for the Midlands trials while I will assign each of my assistants to Bulawayo and Mutare on the same day for trials in those cities.”

All semi-finalists at the Algeria African Under-20 contest would be guaranteed a berth at that age group’s Fifa World Cup slated for Turkey in June next year.