REIGNING Under-16 national high schools Copa Coca-Cola champions Mzingwane High School coach Bekezela Mavundla has vowed to defend the title in this year’s edition of the games to be played in Mutare next month.
By VITALIS MOYO, SPORTS REPORTER
Mzingwane hosted the launch of this year’s edition of the competition on Friday which marked the Silver Jubilee of the soccer tournament which was introduced in 1989 with Mzilikazi High School winning the first edition.
The Mavundla-coached outfit broke the 24-year drought to become the first school from Matabeleland South to win the championship after they edged Masvingo’s Pamushana 1-0 in the final played at Victoria Falls last year.
Mavundla told Southern Eye Sport that one thing that his side is eyeing going into this year’s competition was to defend the title.
“There is one thing on offer for us this year and that is for us to defend our title. This will be the first time a team from this region has done so (twice) successfully. We know that it is not going to be easy, but we are up for the challenge,” Mavundla said.
“After winning last year’s tournament, I prepared a new team for this year’s competition, so the news that some of my players from last year will still be eligible to play means I now have more options. I will use the best of the two sides for this year’s competition,” Mavundla said.
Six players from the team that won the championship made the Copa Coca-Cola 2012 dream team that went for a two-week training camp in South Africa with Mavundla being the head coach of that team after scooping the Coach of the Tournament award.
“We are looking at organising friendly games as well as tournaments so that we keep the boys active and fit heading into the finals in Sakubva, since our first match in the competition will be at the end of July. We are hoping to have another dance with Pamushana this year just to finish off what we started as well as to silence them since every one is saying they were the better team,” Mavundla said.
Last year’s Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Paul Makotere, who also was voted the continent’s best keeper in the training camp in South Africa, is expected to play a key role between the posts in Mzingwane’s title defence.
Mzingwane gunman Glyn Tandi and midfielder Roger Gangeni are some of the players to look out for in this year’s competition.
The defending champions were drawn in Group A alongside Mashonaland West and the Midlands.