The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe is looking to spread its operations to areas such as Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Midlands as well as Mutare.
As the moment, the Spanish club’s academy structures are in Harare, where former Dynamos captain Murape Murape was unveiled as head coach last Thursday.
Gerald Sibanda, Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe president and chief executive officer said Bulawayo is one of the identified centres.
“Bulawayo is one of our centres, we are in a phase where we are discussing with our partners in Bulawayo as far as the facility is going to be concerned, as far as preparations are concerned, definitely we are coming, we will have one centre in Bulawayo, Real Betis Bulawayo will be there,’’ said Sibanda.
Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe are seeking to engage a football great in Bulawayo to work with Murape and a soon to be appointed technical director.
“We are looking at appointing a football legend in Bulawayo that we are going to be able to work with so that they can co-ordinate with our head coach Murape Murape and the technical director who will oversee the entire programme. The technical director arrives anytime from January 2021,’’ he said.
According to Sibanda, the Betis Academy will seek to benefit all aspiring footballers in Zimbabwe, with centres being identified in other parts of the country.
“Definitely Bulawayo is one of the centres, Victoria Falls is going to be one, we are already engaging with our partners for our ideal structure in Victoria Falls, Midlands then Mutare so we have five centres, it’s a nationwide programme which Zimbabwe must benefit from.”
He feels that Bulawayo has a rich football history that the Spanish club has to take advantage of as far as identifying future stars is concerned.
“The people of Bulawayo are special people with a proud football culture and history. It’s a big football culture that needs to be tapped into as far as talent identification is concerned for Real Betis. Great football legends have come from Bulawayo.
“At the end of the day we are looking to coexist with partners in Bulawayo and also engage the other academies that are doing very well in Bulawayo, we are open to discuss and see what kind of synergies we can form with them so that we can coexist and have great partnerships,’’ Sibanda said.
The Spanish club’s first ever academy on the African continent will become operational in October if all goes according to plan.
– @Mdawini _29.