FORMER Warriors defender Noel Kaseke will be the star attraction at this weekend’s Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 boys and girls’ Under-17 national football finals in Gwanda.
BY HENRY MHARA
The games begin this morning with the vetting process where the organisers have promised to descend hard on age cheaters.
Action will begin tomorrow with group matches being played across eight venues, culminating in the finals set for Pelandaba Stadium. The organisers yesterday said Kaseke, a product of the tournament, would grace the occasion together with Harare City assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku and former Mighty Warriors star Nomsa “Boys” Moyo.
Masuku and Moyo are also products of this tournament, which is by far the biggest spectacle in schools sports.
National Association of School Heads head in charge of football Albert Mucheka said all was set for the finals.
“We are ready and working on the final touches on the venues,” Mucheka said. “We are expecting an exciting and improved tournament this year.”
Mucheka warned participating schools against age-cheating.
Age fraud or manipulation of documents is rife in schools and other age group tournaments, but Mucheka said they had put in place measures to make sure only eligible players participate.
With the draw for the national finals having already been made at the tournament’s launch at Dewure last month, there are some mouth-watering ties to look forward to as traditional giants seeks to continue their dominance.
In the boys’ category, Pamushana, the Masvingo representatives and 2009 champions, will go head-to-head with last year’s finalists Rujeko in Group C in what should be the pick of group games while the match between Chemhanza, the 2013 and 2014 champions, and Harare representatives Churchill in Group D is something to look forward to.
Defending champions Dewure are in Group A and are likely to come out of the group unscathed with Devuli and Sobukhazi as the opponents.
Chidyamakono, the girls’ defending champion, will be aiming for their third straight title and will start their campaign at the finals with Magwegwe and Sojini in Group B.
Group A; Dewure (Masvingo), Devuli (Manicaland), Sobukhazi (Bulawayo)
Group B: Mzingwane (Matabeleland South), Chinhoyi High (Mashonaland West), Tohwe (Matabeleland)
Group C: Pamushana (Masvingo), Rujeko (Mashonaland Central), Guinea Fowl (Midlands)
Group D: Gwanda High (hosts), Chemhanza (Mashonaland East), Churchill (Harare)
Group A: Rufaro (Masvingo), Chipadze (Mashonaland Central), Vimbai (Mashonaland West)
Group B: Chidyamakono (Masvingo), Magwegwe (Bulawayo), Sojini (Matabeleland North)
Group C: Thekwane (Matabeleland South), Mabelreign (Harare), Gotora (Mashonaland East)
Group D: Colleen Bawn (hosts), Utongani (Midlands), Nyamauru (Manicaland)