By Tapiwa Marume
October the 7th 2017 will forever be a special day embedded on the hearts of members of Revival Football Academy (RFA) which is based in the high-density suburb of Mufakose. RFA which was founded over a decade and a half ago by local football legend and former Dynamos left back Stanely ‘Samora’ Chirambadare received two sets of kits from Leicester City via one of its players Zimbabwean born, 19 year old player Admiral Darly Muswe.
The handover ceremony was held at Mufakose 3 High and it was facilitated by the Zimbabwe Foreign Legion (ZFL) an organization that seeks to identify and encourage foreign based players to come home and play for the national team and also support the development local football. Former Warriors and Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa and representatives from the Muswe family attended the event.
In a brief address read on his behalf by Deuteronomy Shorai Muchineripi (ZFL) Admiral gave a brief history of his passion for football which started at a tender age. In 2003 when he was 6 years old he joined Bush Buy United after his father had assumed a voluntary under 6 coaching post at the same club. He said he was also invited to join Leicester Football Club Development Center and he graduated from one age group to the next and he played for the England national youths teams.
This year Admiral was named best player at the academy, he said:
“This year I became the Academy’s best player and I was awarded with pre-season training with the first team in Austria. We played against Oxford United and it was a great occasion coming on for Jamie Vardy.”
He said further,” I enjoyed playing football in Zimbabwe. In 2014 I came to Zimbabwe and trained with Caps United for 1 week, and Dynamos for 2 weeks. It was a great experience playing with men at the age of 15. Zimbabwe is in my DNA. I want to thank Leicester City FC, my club, for donating the kits to you. I wish you success and I pray you will produce future stars for the warriors.”
In a major move meant to boost the morale of the young players to pursue football seriously Admiral who has been leaving in Leicester England with his family since he was 3 years old announced that Bill Wall from Leicester City FC would be involved in scouting for local talent at RFA.
Chirambadare commended Admiral for his efforts at such a young age. He pointed out that he could have easily followed the pop culture being followed by young people of his age but he chose to play football and to remember his roots being evidenced by the donation from Leicester City. He thanked ZFL for their vision and the two representatives from the Muswe family for their assistance at the occasion.
He encouraged the young footballers to quit focusing on monetary gains at this level but rather to have discipline, to work hard, develop character and skill.
Former Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa appreciated Admiral’s move at such a young age in following footsteps of great players such as Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwaru who have in the past contributed to the development of football at grass roots levels. He said football stars like Kharma Billiat were products of the Academy and he desired to see him and others playing outside the country contributing to support young football enthusiasts throughout the country.
“Football starts at these young ages and If they’re nurtured it makes it easier for us to be able to identify players we need at the national level”, He said.
He advised the young footballers to be very patient and not expect money at this stage every time they win a match. He counselled them to shun drugs, alcohol, to exercise restraint and avoid early marriages that could become a trap for them and their football careers in the future. He cited a case involving a 17 year old player in South Africa who already has a wife and 3 children.
He stressed all the more, “Do not quit school, because education is very important and some talented young people are getting scholarships to go and study abroad. So we’re saying go to school and play football too.”
The day ended with friendly matches between Under 12, 14, 16 and 18 teams from RFA and Warren Park 1 based Alma Sporting academy lead by Tichaona Chinyanga. The final results were as follows:
Under 12- Alma 2, RFA 0
Under 14- RFA 4, Alma 1
Under 16- RFA 7, Alma 0
Under 18- RFA 1, Alma 0