Real Betis Academy opens branch in Byo

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BY FORTUNE MBELE
REAL Betis Academy Zimbabwe has finally set up a base in Bulawayo and has been granted permission to use the Barbourfields Stadium B Arena fields by the Bulawayo City Council.

The academy had its first training session on Saturday under coaches Johannes Ngodzo and Gift Lunga Junior.

Betis Academy Zimbabwe president Gerald Sibanda said he was excited about the project which started in Harare two years ago.

“Over the weekend we trained close to 30 Under-19 boys drawn largely from Mzilikazi and the surrounding areas to showcase the talents from what our coaches (Ngodzo and Lunga) have selected. But now recruitment for all players in Bulawayo for all the different areas, those who come into our elite academy programme and those who come into our football school programme from Under-8 to Under-19 is underway and we are excited about what is coming for Bulawayo” Sibanda said.

He added: “We finally have a new home in Bulawayo; that is Barbourfields Stadium, the B Arena fields for the Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe programme for the Matabeleland region. We are very happy to know that the football legends were there to support us. We are very excited about what is going to come out of our football club, the Real Betis methodology for not only for people in Zimbabwe but for Bulawayo which is known for producing great football talent.”

Sibanda said Spain-based technical director of the academy Juan Parra would be in the country in May to assess progress.

“The training camp went well. We have two assistant coaches who are already there, Johannes Ngodzo and Gift Lunga and we also managed to bring along our head coach Murape Murape and goalkeepers’ coach Tichaona Diya just to continue and guide with what is already happening in Harare. Our technical director Juan Parra who is overseeing our programme from Spain will be travelling to Zimbabwe anytime in May to see how their garden is growing. I am happy for the youths of Bulawayo. We had Bulawayo City executives who we are very grateful for their support; the mayor of Bulawayo (Solomon Mguni) gave us all the support to ensure the project becomes a success. Highlanders executives were also present at the training camp,” Sibanda said.

Legends and former players that included Madinda Ndlovu and the legendary juniors’ coach Ali Dube
were at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.

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