A few years ago, any mention of “boozers” or “social soccer” was reminiscent of poor football pitches, amateur footballers as well as referees and generally a place to kill time, which of course might have been the case anyway.
BY MACMILLAN MAKORE
That appears to be a thing of the past. Yesterday Motor Action Sports Club played host to one of the biggest tournaments on the local social football scene, mainly due to the presence of some of the finest players Zimbabwe produced in the years gone by.
The Ambassadors teams boasted of popular names such as Edward Sadomba, Tinashe Nengomasha, Eddie Mashiri, Thomas Sweswe, David Kutyauripo, Desmond Maringwa and goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura.
And they certainly lived up to their billing as they wowed the crowd by putting on a fine display of the most delicate and sweet football the social league is yet to embrace.
Consequently, the final featured Pan Jap Motors, another social club which featured the likes of former Warriors tough tackling defender Dumisani Mpofu and ex-CAPS United and Dynamos star Ashley “Compressor” Rambanapasi as their strongholds.
“Having to play with each other again at a less competitive level brings again the same feelings as it was when we were playing at the highest level; these younger players can make it to the top as well, even if they are starting here, it is where all of us started so I’m happy to be here,” Nengomasha, the former Warriors and Kaizer Chiefs midfield kingpin told Standardsport on the sidelines of the tournament.
Simbarashe “Sonza” Hundah, tournament host and owner of Simba Stars, said he was motivated to support social football as it has also helped in creating a pathway for most players who are plying their trade in the local Premiership.
“Growing up, most of us were not resourceful enough to play at the highest level and now my aim is to enhance and help promote talent in some of our youngsters and even those who have played at the highest level as well, the initiative is with us and that is why you noticed our seriousness. We are also here to observe a moment of silence for our legend Friday Phiri,” he said.
“Our club has been successful in promoting most players to their Premier League destinations, players like Charles Makoto now at Shabanie, Tafadzwa Jaravanda who left for Bantu Rovers, to name but a few, and we hope to keep developing talent that in turn will enrich Zimbabwean football,” Hundah said.