LOCAL football academy, Sports Avenue, owned by former Warriors midfielder Edzayi Kasinauyo, are back in the country following a successful first international 11-day tour to world football powerhouse, Germany.
The football development institution formed early this year was based in the Lower Saxony city of Stade, which is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan, where they played seven games against some of the top soccer academies, including Bundesliga giants Werder Bremen.
With the help of former Warriors gaffer Klause-Dieter Pagels, who put together the all-expenses paid trip, Sports Avenue managed to take 24 Under-17 players to Europe where some of them attracted interest from German clubs.
Academy visionary Kasinauyo told Standardsport what he thought of the academy’s first international visit.
“Considering the teams they were playing, it was very difficult for the players, but what we can appreciate is that it allowed us to see exactly where we are in terms of junior development.
That feedback and exposure helped the boys realise what it means to be a professional footballer,” he said.
Giles Happi, a 17-year-old attacker, was one of the top performers from the Zimbabwean contingent, receiving rave
reviews from the local media and Bundesliga giants Werder Bremen — who even sent a scout to go and watch the St Georges College player.
The Sports Academy team also had an opportunity to watch a Bundesliga tie in which Hamburger SV beat VFB Stuttgart
3-1 at the Imtech Arena on August 22.