Bantu Academy weans off juniors

Bantu Academy, an offshoot of former Premier Soccer League side Bantu Rovers, will be discarding their juniors next year to concentrate on the Zifa Bulawayo Province Division Two side.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

Methembe Ndlovu

Following the separation last year, former Warriors and Highlanders’ player Methembe Ndlovu, who founded Bantu Rovers in 2008, established an Under-21 Bantu Academy, which has a Division Two side as well as Under-14s, 16s and 18s participating in the Zifa Bulawayo Province Junior League.

In a statement on Wednesday, Bantu Academy confirmed they were rearranging their operations.

“Beginning 2019, the academy will focus its energies on its Division Two side, which competes in the Bulawayo Province Division Two league and re-assign all players under the age of 18. Some of the junior players will be promoted to the Division Two side while the junior age groups will be under new management,” the statement read.

Bantu Academy said the objective is “to improve efficiency and better serve its participants”.

“We realise that not every youth player is going to be a professional footballer and our objective is to help our players to prepare for viable lives in and outside football.
We will be more focused on each individual participant moving forward and I am excited to work with our Division Two players next season,” Ndlovu said in the statement.

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Under Bantu Rovers, which had funders in the United States, Ndlovu helped a number of players obtain scholarships to pursue their studies in that country and has helped some players realise their dreams of playing professional football come true.

Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who now plies his trade in Belgium for Club Brugge, is a product of Bantu Rovers.

International sponsor Peter Grieve, who is based in the US and has a stake in a Gibraltar Division Two side Europa Point FC, now works with former Bantu Rovers general manager Wilbert Sibanda and they hope to be sending players from Zimbabwe to Gibraltar and other clubs in Europe.

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