The 2018 edition of the annual Willard Katsande under 18 soccer tournament takes place this weekend with the first set of games set for the 22nd of December 2018 in the sprawling suburb of Sakubva, in Mutare. The annual soccer extravaganza is sponsored by Kaizer Chiefs defensive midfielder Willard Katsande who was recently recalled to the warriors fold.
Willard Katsande (left), in action for Kaizer Chiefs in a CAF Chamions league encounter.
This years’ edition which will also be part of the memorial of Willard Katsandes’ late mother who passed on earlier this year will see teams from as far afield as Mbare National in Harare, and one Chipinge District team taking part.
Speaking in an interview with Kumakomo Community Radio Initiative Katsande was full of praises for the local organizing committee, saying, “ I am very grateful to the local organizing committee. It is not about me organizing the tournaments but just that I have a strong team on the ground willingly helping a lot and these people are part of the team that make this tournament a success. Among them there is seasoned administrator Mr Masimba Chihowa, Tatenda Matiringe, Panga Mbaradza, Gift Mapinda and the Junior league committee, to name but a few.”
Katsande (second from right) captain of the day for Kaizer Chiefs.
Asked what was in store for the junior players and the fans, Katsande said, “The junior players will get an opportunity to showcase their talent at a grand stage and they should use this tournament as a means of breaking through into the big leagues. We are hoping to surpass where we were last year. Fans should come to the stadiums in their numbers and cheer the young talent and expect to take away some prizes as well.
The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder said he feels motivated to host this annual tournament because it is a way of showing his gratitude to the city and people of Mutare where
he kick- started his career. He said, “The people of Mutare contributed to where I am at the moment, its’ just that I may not repay their faith financially hence the best way to do so is through this tournament which benefits the community and junior players”.
This years’ tournament will feature 19 under 18 soccer teams. The majority of the teams are from Mutare and they include last years’ winner La Sakubva coached by seasoned soccer coach Sicho Masachi, last years runners up Sheckon FC to name but a few. The tournament has become an annual spectacle drawing thousands of fans locally while a number follow proceedings through the Kumakomo Comunity live streaming feed as well as other social network feeds from people.