The 4th edition of the Willard Katsande under 18 Tournament has been scheduled for June the 4th and 5th, 2016, with the knockout tournament set to attract teams from the country’s’ ten provinces.
This years’ tournament will be held under the theme, “Football Helps Us Change”. The Willard Katsande under 18 Cup is bankrolled by the Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwean captain Willard Katsande, who started this initiative as a way of ploughing back to the community of Mutare, where he hails from.
“It has always been my wish to play a part in the development of the world’s most beautiful game of soccer, especially to the talented youths in Mutare. I chose to give back to the community because l feel indebted to them owing to their unwavering support throughout my career. So by hosting this tournament, l get the opportunity to thank everyone”, said Katsande in a telephone interview.
Katsande also challenged cooperate organizations and individuals to come up with such initiatives as this will enable the youths in this country to get opportunities to get scouted.
Said Katsande, “ My plans are to ensure that we develop talented players who can surpass the level we have reached. This is the reason why this year we have decided to go national and give youths from all corners of the country an opportunity to perform in a national tournament.
Last year the tournament attracted national team coach Calisto Pasuwa, and a number of high profile players like Kingston Nkatha, and Ovidy Karuru. The annual tournament which has become an annual spectacle in the sprawling suburb of Sakubva, has been hailed by local residents who say it is giving local youths a chance to develop their soccer careers.
Cuthbert Mtetwa a resident of Sakubva heaped praises towards the tournament by saying, “ This is a very noble idea which our youths should emulate. This man has decided to give back when it matters most, despite the fact that most traditional soccer sponsors are failing to do so. I hope the youths will gain a lot from this tournament.
The local organizing committee which comprises Gift Mapinda, Mr Nyabeze, renowned soccer administrator Masimba Chihowa, soccer player Hibron Makukutu, Panganai Mbaradza, to name but a few, has already started the preparations, holding fortnightly meetings to ensure that the tournament is a success.