THE biggest spectacle in schools football competition will take place at Sakubva High School in Mutare tomorrow.
The Copa Coca-Cola competition is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the schools’ calendar.
It brings with it such intrigue that even the most casual student is filled with excitement.
Twenty-three schools from the country’s provinces will travel to Mutare and battle the hosts in a bid to be crowned the champions in schools football.
Sponsors of the tournament Coca-Cola through their senior franchise manager Mona Karingi said the stage has been set for the annual tournament, which is part of the company’s global “Crazy for Good” campaign.
Three football personalities Norman Mapeza, Desmond Maringwa and Lazarus Muhoni, all ex-Warriors players, have been invited to grace the occasion.
Under-16 boys reigning champions Mzingwane High School remain big favourites to retain the title for a good reason.
Their coach Bekezela Mavundla said the school has managed to retain all the players from last year’s triumphant squad.
“It will be very difficult to retain the title, but it is still possible,” said Mavundla.
In the girls’ Under-17 category, Vainona should also fulfil their roles as favourites. The Harare school will be seeking their third straight title in this competition.
However, Midlands Provincial winners Matinunura have promised to give the two-time champions a tough time.
“We now know what is expected of us there after we finished fourth in last year’s competition. This time we will desist from the machine gun syndrome, we will be very straight like a pistol. We are coming for you Vainona. This is our year,” declared Matinunura coach Tarisai Mudadigwa.
The teams will be grouped into four pools with three teams each. Mzingwane are in Group A where they will battle it out with Zvishavane High and Ngezi Barracks while Vainona should find little problem to come out of their pool which has Silonga and Mosi-a-Tunya.
Winners in the boys’ category will get $6 500 while the girls’ winner will pocket $3 000.
Fourteen outstanding boys players will be selected into the Copa Coca-Cola Dream Team that will go for a two-week training camp in South Africa this September.
The teams will be grouped into four pools with three teams each.
Group A: Zvishavane, Mzingwane, Ngezi Barracks.
Group B: Gaza, Gifford, Hwange.
Group C: Sakubva, Chemhanza, Mwenezi.
Group D: Churchill, Howard, Gwanda.
Group A: Vainona, Mosi-a-Tunya, Silonga.
Group B: Sakubva, Matinunura, Rutanhira.
Group C: Mbare, Sodbury, Masocha.
Group D: Rukweza, St Francis, Chidyamakono.