Highlanders for Msipa charity

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Highlanders fan.

HIGHLANDERS will take part in the second edition of the Cephas George Msipa Scholarship Trust Charity football tournament set for the second weekend of February.

MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE

FC Platinum and Shabanie Mine took part in the inaugural tournament last year, but this year’s event has been extended to four teams with Chapungu joining Highlanders.

Highlanders will play Premiership returnees Chapungu at Ascot stadium on February 8 with the Zvishavane derby at Mandava Stadium on the same day. The winners of both matches will meet in the final at Mandava the following day.

FC Platinum club president George Mawere who is part of the organising team told NewsDay Sport  the latest developments.

“We have set the dates for the 8th and 9th (of February). We as FC Platinum are the organisers of the tournament, but the tournament is a brainchild of Dr Msipa and he is negotiating with sponsors.

“As tournament organisers, we wanted a draw to be conducted on fixtures, but we were told the final needs to be staged in Zvishavane hence the need to have a team from Zvishavane in the final,” he said.

The platinum miners’ president assured football stakeholders that the dates are now final and there will be no adjustments or change of venues.

“Dr Msipa is finalising with sponsors, but even if nothing comes out of those negotiations, the tournament will go on. The tournament started as a provincial one, but now it’s national. That’s why we have invited Highlanders.

“The proceeds will go to charity, but if sponsors come in they will cover the expenses of the participating teams,” Mawere said.

FC Platinum are the reigning champions following last year’s brace by Warriors midfielder Ali Sadiki which ensured the platinum miners cruse to a comfortable 2-0 win over Shabanie Mine.

Premiership returnees Chapungu will get a chance to taste the waters of Premiership football when they take part in the invitational tournament.

Meanwhile, Canadian First Mobile Sports Academy (FMSA) players striker Phillippe Barriault and goalkeeper Jean-Felix Lemieux arrived in Bulawayo yesterday morning in readiness to start training with Highlanders Football Club.

FMSA is run by Zimbabwean coach Isaac Mbedzi who facilitated the two’s coming for attachment with Bosso.

If the players impress the Highlanders technical team, they will be registered for the first half of the 2014 Premier Soccer League season as they are due to leave in July for Belgium for another attachment with FC Brugge.

Bosso are expected to embark on an out-of-town pre-season training camp starting today.

Barriault (20) and Lemieux (19) arrived by road yesterday morning from Johannesburg, South Africa, where they landed on Saturday.

Our sister paper Southern Eye Sport caught up with the two players doing their shopping at Hillside Shopping Centre yesterday after they were picked up by FMSA’s Zimbabwean representative Allan Mpofu and were excited by their arrival in Zimbabwe, saying they were looking forward to their stay at Bosso.

“We arrived in South Africa yesterday (Saturday). It was my second time on a plane and my first time in Africa. The weather is good because in Canada, it’s minus 20 degrees now. I am excited to be in Zimbabwe and I am here to learn. If the coach thinks I’m good, why not play for Highlanders? I have been playing for First Mobile Sports academy in the North American League for two years. We will be here for six months and will be leaving on July 6 or 7 for another attachment with FC Brugge in Belgium,” Barriault said.

His colleague, goalkeeper Lemieux said he would not mind a longer contract with Highlanders.

“I want to get most of the experience here and make it into the first team. I wouldn’t mind getting a further contract with Highlanders. What I want is to get a professional contract,” Lemieux said.

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