CANADA-BASED Zimbabwean coach and director of First Mobile Sports Academy (FMSA) Isaac Mbedzi has been honoured by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for winning the Group B Boys’ Under-19 Dana Cup, beating Germany side Buchen Siebeneichener 1-0 in extra-time in Denmark last month.
Mbedzi, a Zifa Level Three coach, with other coaching qualifications from Germany, the Netherlands, United States, Canada and Scotland, received a letter from Harper congratulating him for winning the annual international youth soccer competition staged in Denmark since 1982.
The letter from the Canadian premier, which Mbedzi posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, reads: “I am pleased to extend my warmest congratulations to coach Isaac Mbedzi for winning the Group B Under-19 Championship at the 33rd Dana Cup international youth soccer tournament in Denmark.
“With this victory you take your place beside other Canadians who have distinguished themselves in international competition through determination and teamwork. I join with your family and friends in commending your performance on the pitch.
“The event put your skills and character to the test against talented teams from around the world and you came out on top in your category. In years to come, you will look back on this winning experience with fond memories and pride in your accomplishments.
Please accept my best wishes for every happiness and success in the future.”
Blessing Madlela (17), a Zimbabwean boy, was part of the FMSA team as a guest player.
The Zimbabwe-born Mbedzi is a Canadian permanent resident who has forged a relationship with local Bulawayo football giants Highlanders and was responsible for bringing striker Phillippe Barriault, central midfielder Beychevel Bamana and goalkeeper Jean-Felix Lemieux from his FMSA.
The three came for trials with Highlanders in pre-season and had a brief spell with Bosso before returning to Canada.
Among his coaching credentials, Mbedzi, who has been an instructor with the Zimbabwe Coaches’ Association, holds a director of coaching diploma from the University of Delaware in the US, high-level coaching diploma (tactical thinking with Chelsea manager José Mourinho) from the University of California, Dutch international coaching certificate (Royal Netherlands Football Association), A-Licence (Uefa final phase — Scottish), German Fifa Olympic certificate and NCCP Level 1-3 (CSA) from Canada.