HARARE CITY coach Mark Harrison has said that youngsters at the club will be given a chance to play in the first team, but only at the right time.
BY HENRY MHARA/TERRY MADYAUTA
The Sunshine Boys, bankrolled by the Harare City Council, have often been criticised for their big spending policy, but Harrison claims the time is coming when the team’s academy will begin to bear fruit.
The team’s supporters have also pressured the Briton to include more youngsters, having watched teenager Tatenda “Boss” Tumba lighting up the league this season.
The 19-year-old has been the outstanding player for his team this term, and is currently the favourite to win the Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.
Harrison handed another teenager Tellmore “Kante” Pio his debut last week away at Bulawayo City, and the youngster did not disappoint, with a five-star performance, that helped tilt the match in favour of Harare City.
Asked if the youngsters will be given more responsibilities and opportunities in the team, on the back of Tumba and Kante’s performances, Harrison pleaded for patience.
“The youngsters are growing nicely, it’s a process. Many people think we can throw youngsters and expect them to play 15-20 games, it doesn’t work like that,” Harrison said.
“They need to be cultured properly, they need to be grown properly. They are little seeds and they need to be watered and the sun needs to shine on them so they can grow. They are doing that nicely. They are coming in and showing what they can do, and eventually, they will get their opportunities to play extended more time. They have to be prepared properly so they don’t disappoint themselves and everybody else. Our policy is working nicely,” he added.
City host Chapungu at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon, looking for their first win in three matches, after drawing their last two against Caps United and Harare City.
The good news in their camp is the return of midfielder Moses Muchenje who missed the trip to Bulawayo last week through injury.
Meanwhile, Nichrut will host troubled Shabanie Mine at Ascot Stadium today in a battle of strugglers, as both sides seek to reignite their hopes of surviving relegation.
Both Nichrut and Shabanie are embroiled in the fight for survival, having amassed 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Their reverse fixture resulted in a share of spoils following a 2-2 draw at Maglas Stadium.
Nichrut are coming into the match with their confidence rock bottom after they were drubbed 4-0 by Chicken Inn, while the Chinda Boys managed to salvage a point against Dynamos in a 2-2 draw, despite struggling to assemble a squad for that match.
Things have barely improved in their camp due to financial problems, and they are expected to travel to Gweru with a hugely depleted side.
Nichrut coach John Nyikadzino does not have empathy for the Zvishavane-based side, and wants to compound their woes this afternoon.
“Last week, we lost to a better side, but this one is a different ball game altogether,” Nyikadzino said.
“We are going to win this game at all costs and I know that the few additions we have made to the squad will make a difference. We have played over half of the games, and the results might not be so much to our liking, but I know for sure, we won’t be relegated. The battle is still on. We will use home advantage. They might be struggling, but we are looking expecting tough battle because they are also vying for survival.”
The two teams are among the worst performers in the league, with Shabanie lying second from the bottom on the log with 15 points, while Nichrut sit on the relegation cut-off point on 15th position with 16 points.
Both teams have picked just three points in their last five matches.