ESTEEMED followers of the game of football, thank you for finding time for interaction.
The starting XI in Sunday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group G qualifier between Zimbabwe and Liberia reflected positively on the project that Bantu Rovers have got going in Bulawayo – the modest side had four of its graduates lining up for the Warriors at National Sports.
The quadruplet of midfielders, Marvelous Nakamba and Danny Phiri as well as forward Kuda Mahachi and defender, Teenage Hadebe have all at some point of their blossoming careers turned out for Bantu Rovers, a club that has over the past years developed a knack of churning out future stars.
This is the same team that is credited for handing Premiership debuts to Hadebe and Tafadzwa Kutinyu, who now plays at Singida United in Tanzania. Nqobizitha Masuku, who has been with Highlanders and FC Platinum, also came off the Bantu Rovers production line. It, therefore, is not far-fetched to suggest that since its formation in 2008, the team has provided a steady supply of talent for nearly a decade they have in been existence.
Their strength lies in unearthing some gems, cut them for onward transmission and eventual polishing into shining nuggets. The club has steadfastly remained true to its vision and tradition of being a rich and fertile nursery that nurtures young talent.
Director, Methembe “Mayor” Ndlovu and the club’s partners in the United States of America must be gleefully smiling following their conscious decision in 2010 to go the junior development way and focus on building the careers of budding footballers. Since then, Tshintsha Guluva now identify young talent and hold their hands, taking them through a toddler’s steps into the world of professional football.
As such, their current squad reportedly has an average age of 20 years, but has also conscripted some “over-aged” senior players just to provide the direction and experience. They surely deserve credit for investing their time and resources into such an exciting project and should take the kudos for that. It should be gratifying to them to watch and see some Bantu-grown players, who retrace their roots to the club, roving all the way to establish and cement their careers elsewhere. They have been in and out of the Premiership, yes, but Bantu Rovers should hold their heads high for being the cradle that cuddles emerging talent.
They may not be punching above their weight in this current campaign, yes, but their mission has the stamina whose vision is certainly not blurred. All the same, their marksman, Bukhosi Sibanda, is enjoying a bright start to the season and presently leads the goal-scoring charts. Long may they continue with that their thrust of junior development, which they have unapologetically gone on record categorically stating.
For Nakamba, Phiri, Mahachi and Hadebe, they must have been roving the Bantu way to dancing with the Warriors.
It’s Game On, Play On!
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