Premier League newcomers, Yadah FC are considering setting up development teams in all towns in Zimbabwe in a quest to become a force to reckon with in the country, if recommendations by the club’s coach Jairos Tapera are anything to go by.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries football team, owned by the founder of the church, Walter Magaya, is set to compete in the top-flight league for the first time after they emerged Eastern Region Division One champions last year.
Yadah FC roped in former Young Warriors coach Tapera, who has been tasked to come up with a strategic plan that will ensure the long term survival of the team, and it has already been tabled to the club executive.
“We have church cell groups in all towns, so my plan is to have development teams from Under-15, Under-17 to Under-19 in all those towns, which we can assist with equipment. If we are to be serious with this, we will reap results because all these towns could give us the best players, which is good for the future of the club,” Tapera told Standardsport.
The club is being built around the model of Nigerian side My People FC, which is owned by Magaya’s “spiritual father” TB Joshua with the goal of developing world class players.
My People FC is credited for producing one of Nigeria’s Super Eagles talent, Ogenyi Onazi, formerly with Italian giants Lazio and currently playing for Turkish side Trabzonpsor.
Tapera is already excited with the talent he is witnessing at Yadah FC.
“It’s early days yet, but we have under-20 youngsters, who are doing very well. And we always look at them and think they have a great future here in Zimbabwe or even abroad,” he said.
However, Tapera’s biggest task is to ensure that Yadah FC survive the debut season in the top-flight league this season.
“Since it’s the first year, we want to remain in the Premier League. Everything else will depend on the performance of other teams. If other teams are performing below par, we will revise our targets to do better. We respect the teams that are in the league because most have been in the Premier League for longer challenges, but we want to surprise one or two,” he told Standardsport.
The team that moved into the Yadah Village Stadium for training sessions last week completed the third week of preseason preparation under the watchful eyes of Tapera.
Yadah FC did not break the bank to bring top players into the team during the transfer window and will need to dig deep to survive the chop this season.
Zivanai Mhanda, formerly with Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum, ex-FC Platinum central midfielder, Wellington Kamudyariwa and Kumbirayi Kapikinya are the few players with Premier League experience.
Tapera says the club is still looking around for better players.
“We now have a controlled number that we are working with and we continue looking around for better players than what we have at the moment. I think we are in the right direction,” he said.
Some of the young players to watch out for in the current Yadah FC team include Zimbabwe Under-20 star, Leeroy Mavhunga, Denzel Savanhu, Johannes Sibanda and Leeroy Murape.