THE Football Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) is set to host the third instalment of the annual Out of Contract Training Camps next year in Harare and Bulawayo, an initiative which seeks to help professional footballers who are searching for new clubs.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
It will be the first time that the event will be held in Bulawayo since its inception last year.
In Harare the training camp will be held at Motor Action Sports Club from January 3-7 while the inaugural Bulawayo edition is set for January 10-14 at Hartsfield Stadium.
“Hunting for a new club can be challenging and difficult, hence FUZ is offering a platform to out-of-contract footballers to showcase their talents in front of professional coaches and club administrators in the hope of gaining a professional contract,” FUZ programmes and administration manager Vaidah Makotsa told Standardsport.
Makotsa added that a number of players benefitted from the programme in the last two years, adding the union intended to grow the project to an extent that it becomes a national event.
“So far the project has been quite a success. In 2008, eight players were signed by predominantly Division One sides and this year six players found a new home as a result of the training camps,” she said.
“In July this year we went regional and held a similar training camp in South Africa and one of our players Obert Tafira was signed by University of Pretoria FC. People like this initiative and we are really looking to growing it into a national event.”
The former Highlanders striker is the only Zimbabwean playing for AmaTuks, a former South African top flight league side currently competing in the national first division.
Having attracted highly-qualified coaches, the initial training camp in 2015 was conducted by Zimbabwe national team coach Kalisto Pasuwa, while Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya alongside Phillip Mutyakureva and Naison Muchekela took care of the Warriors.
Makotsa said players were expected to bring their own training kits while lunch would be provided by the union.
This time around, media experts have been invited to impart effective communication skills to the players while match-fixing and doping trainers will also be part of the programme.
Also in attendance will be premier league and division one coaches and their club administrators.