Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Ngezi Platinum Stars on Thursday hosted an inter-district tournament whose main thrust was talent identification as the club seeks to harness the best talents from the Mhondoro-Ngezi area.
By Sports Reporter
The club has been driven by its financial muscle where they assembled a strong side that has held its own in the top-flight since promotion last year, but wants to develop their own players other than over relying on the chequebook.
Thursday’s tournament featured six teams from Sanyati, Chegutu and Mhondoro. Each district provided two teams with Sanyati A emerging as winners after edging Chegutu A 1-0 in the final.
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya was on hand to help in the selection of 20 players that will be absorbed by the team’s developmental side Ngezi Platinum Under-19, which is in Division One.
Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane was the guest of honour at the tournament where he applauded the organisation of such a tournament.
“I would like to thank all the students who have taken part in the competition from the preliminary stages up to the finals today,” he said. “I would like to thank the school authorities for the support they have given to their students, allowing them to train and attend the event. We are also grateful to the National Association of School Heads for the mammoth task they played in co-ordinating with the various schools in the entire educational district. Although we will hand the winners’ trophies to a few today, the real winners of the competition are the participants who received an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars, who are locked in a tussle for the title with Chicken Inn, Dynamos and FC Platinum, have drawn most of their players from outside their catchment area.
The programme gives them an opportunity to infuse home-grown talent into the team.