Struc­tured long term train­ing

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WITH over 100 caps and 96 goals for her coun­try, Nomsa “Boys” Moyo, the for­mer Mighty War­riors’ mid­field mae­stro’s feat sees her an­chor the list of fe­male foot­ball leg­ends in Zim­babwe.

Gifted with sub­lime skills, strong de­fen­sively and a mar­vel in at­tack, Moyo was the foun­da­tion of many teams from club to coun­try.

Her path as a player was crafted at home where her dad Kay Cus­tom Moyo played foot­ball in the 1970s and brother Mike Vash turned out for Mbal­a­bala Leop­ards.

At Grade 5, Moyo was thrown into the Lozikeyi Pri­mary School boys’ first team.

“I was in the same team with for­mer Zim­babwe Un­der-17 in­ter­na­tional Brian Mu­gadza who turned out for AmaZulu. I was en­cour­aged by both my fam­ily and school teach­ers to play as they felt I had the skill,” said Moyo.

Moyo also played cricket at school where she starred as a bowler and bats­man with the likes of Keith Dabengwa and Nkosana Ngubeni.

From Lozikeyi in Nguboyenja she crossed Lu­veve Road to Sobukazi for her sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion where she con­tin­ued play­ing as a de­fender.

She was to be­come a vic­tim of dis­crim­i­na­tion in the sport. Af­ter Sobukazi had bun­dled out St Colum­bus and Mzi­likazi High School, one of the head­mas­ters had her team dis­qual­i­fied be­cause a girl was part of the team in the Coca-Cola tour­na­ment.

“I was down af­ter that. How­ever, I picked my­self up with my par­ents en­cour­ag­ing me not to quit a sport I dearly loved.

“It was sad to have the Mzi­likazi head­mas­ter Mr (Cuth­bert) Chi­romo say the tour­na­ment was for boys only. I felt bad that my tal­ent had not been re­alised,” said Moyo.

She started play­ing club foot­ball as a Grade Six pupil in 1994 when she joined Zim­babwe Saints Queens who were coached by Vusa Ny­oni.

At Chik­wata she played with the South­ern Re­gion women’s foot­ball fix­tures sec­re­tary Samu Ndlovu.

A year later she joined High­landers Roy­als and found a for­mi­da­ble side teem­ing with tal­ent. El­iz­a­beth Moyo, con­sid­ered the best drib­bler women’s foot­ball has had, Rose Mu­gadza, Samu Sibanda, Benita Phiri, Sukoluhle Dube and Lindiwe Mab­honzo Ncube were stal­warts in the side.

“I left Zim­babwe Saints be­cause they were not se­ri­ous. Things were not bet­ter at Roy­als as we hardly raised a good num­ber for our train­ing ses­sions. We played New Or­leans and Haver­son Masilela in­vited me to join the club which by then was known as Gugulethu spon­sored by Tryphine Nh­liziyo,” she said.

Join­ing New Or­leans, she said, was the turn­ing point of her ca­reer as she got the much needed ex­po­sure.

“In no time we found our­selves trav­el­ling all over the coun­try and even trav­elled to Swazi­land in a star-stud­ded team boast­ing Then­jiwe Dube, Fun­gai Nya­mu­tukwa, Pre­cious Mpala, Ruth Banda, Dudu Nkomo, Siphiwe Hlong­wane and So­neni Jasi.

“In Swazi­land Ruth was the top goal scorer in the tour­na­ment with 17 goals and with 15 goals, I was sec­ond but was ad­judged to have been the Most Out­stand­ing Player while Dudu Nkomo won the Goal­keep­ers’ Award,” said Moyo.

An En­tum­bane High School teacher, Cheumwe was the coach at the time. With more games or­gan­ised by Masilela, Moyo who had pre­vi­ously made the cut in the South­ern Re­gion Select coached by for­mer Roy­als gaffer the late Du­misani Sibanda, her game im­proved. She saw a fu­ture in the game and in 1999 marked her in­ter­na­tional back through for the coun­try in a Mighty War­riors side coached by Vorster Tlou.

“Masilela was able to get spon­sor­ships such as In­duna Foods, John­son and John­son and Bu­lateke. There were com­pe­ti­tions and we played foot­ball al­most every week which saw us in bet­ter shape. If there were no women to play, we played men’s sides.

“I made my in­ter­na­tional de­but in 1999 against South Africa in a match we lost 2-1. We had Rose Mu­gadza and El­iz­a­beth Moyo, very se­nior play­ers to learn from,” she added.

The Banyana Banyana side had the colour­ful duo of Veron­ica Phewa and

Por­tia Modise both of whom played pro­fes­sional foot­ball for Ar­se­nal Ladies in the UK.

Moyo was to score her first goal for the coun­try against Namibia the fol­low­ing year in a match won by the Mighty War­riors 11-0. In that match she scored two to open the flood­gates for her other 94 for her coun­try in a ca­reer she is be­lieved to have scored over a thou­sand club goals.

“At club level I scored many goals as w

e rarely won by less than five goals of which I would be on the charts for al­most every match,” said the mother of 12-year-old Den­zil, who is at Young Fly­ing Stars Academy where she coaches with di­rec­tor Collin Nyam­biya.

In the re­turn leg of the Af­con qual­i­fier played at Katu­tura Sta­dium in Wind­hoek, she an­nounced her ar­rival as a big name player for the fu­ture with a four-goal salvo in the 4-0 win put­ting to rest reliance on Yes­more Mutero and El­iz­a­beth Moyo.

Her ca­reer had three Cosafa run­ners-up medals and a win­ners medal in 2012 in the twi­light of her ca­reer, scor­ing her last goal in the tour­na­ment in Harare.

She re­mem­bers with nostal­gia her tally of 17 goals in the 2001 fi­nals, four short of top goal scorer Veron­ica Phewa of South Africa.

She also played in three Af­con fi­nals twice fin­ish­ing in the top four. Her most trea­sured goal was a 45-me­tre drive scored against South Africa in Jo­han­nes­burg in 2004.

“We had great ri­valry with our neigh­bours South Africa. The re­sults were al­ways a close call of 2-1 even when we bun­dled them out of the semi-fi­nals of the 2004 Af­con fi­nals, it was a sim­i­lar score line,” she said.

Her great­est re­gret was not be­ing part of the Zim­babwe Olympics team for the 2016 Games held in Brazil.

For a true war­rior who had laboured and sac­ri­ficed so much for her coun­try and served it with dis­tinc­tion, it would have been a fit­ting farewell to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in which she was ever an in­spi­ra­tion to other girls.

Many be­lieve she is the best fe­male War­rior to don na­tional colours in a thin field that also has for­mer High­landers and Mighty War­riors star of the 1980s and early 1990s Sa­muke­liso Mahlangu. While Mahlangu had skill, vi­sion and ball con­trol, she

lacked a few at­tributes that Moyo pos­sessed.

Moyo was a team player, who could with the flick of a fin­ger from the bench change the tide and hold the game by the scruff of the neck and make things hap­pen.

Her play was the fe­male ver­sion of an­other leg­endary Bu­l­awayo foot­baller Hon­our Gom­bami.

She played di­rect foot­ball and was an im­mac­u­late link be­tween de­fence, mid­field and at­tack, hold­ing the ball when nec­es­sary, tak­ing on an op­po­nent to sub­tract the num­bers to­wards op­po­si­tion half, pass­ing in­ci­sively or fin­ish­ing with dis­tinc­tion at the right mo­ment.

Moyo be­moans the stan­dard of women’s foot­ball nowa­days.

“We took the game to a cer­tain level dur­ing the days of very com­mit­ted ad­min­is­tra­tors like Masilela and as a na­tion we should have built on that. We played for fun, get­ting as lit­tle as one dol­lar in camp just to serve our coun­try in a sport we love.

“Foot­ball wants com­mit­ment at all lev­els. Ad­min­is­tra­tors have to up the game as much as coaches and play­ers have to,” said the for­mer New Or­leans co-coach with Mighty War­riors boss Si­thethelelwe Sibanda.

Moyo said her big­gest in­spi­ra­tion in the game was Diego Maradona with Rose Mu­gadza the most dif­fi­cult op­po­nent she ever faced.

“Mu­gadza as a cen­tre back for the Roy­als was tough, fast and her tack­les were hard. But for me the turn­ing point per­haps was ear­lier on in my youth watch­ing Brazil and Ger­many women in ac­tion. I just told my­self I could some day play at their level,” said Moyo.

Moyo spent three years from 2008-2010 play­ing for MaIndies in South Africa in a deal bro­kered by the late Masilela which saw her cross the Lim­popo River with Daisy Muk­wena, Nokuthula Ndlovu and Ntombi Ndlovu.

All things be­ing equal in life Moyo de­served to play in a more com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment abroad and earn her pen­sion as she had ev­ery­thing a pro­fes­sional player has to have.

She was born an ath­lete, com­mit­ted and dis­ci­plined to her cause and ever ea­ger to ex­cel. FOOT­BALL has no fu­ture in a coun­try that does not have struc­tured long term tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ments. Planning starts with grass­roots foot­ball, both for men and women.

The main fo­cus should be on the train­ing of in­struc­tors who can pass on the knowl­edge they have gained and guar­an­tee its dis­sem­i­na­tion across the coun­try and reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion on all lev­els that are well struc­tured and or­gan­ised within district, re­gions and then na­tion­ally.

This should also in­volve ref­er­ees and coaches as well as ad­min­is­tra­tors. We can­not de­velop our foot­ball in the coun­try where we have no full-time em­ployed in­struc­tors. I am say­ing to the mother body Zifa, go to Fifa, they can as­sist you with this.

They do have as­sis­tance and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, we need our own peo­ple who have the know-how of reach­ing the men­tal­ity of our kind of player, his/ her cul­ture, lan­guage, so­cial en­vi­ron­ment ,dis­abil­ity, abil­ity etc.

Bu­l­awayo City (2) vs ZPC Kariba (1): BF (25/10/2018)

Where was the team called Bu­l­awayo City all along? The team has started do­ing the right things at the end of the sea­son with the same play­ers who were there when the sea­son started. What has changed now which was not there?

Bu­l­awayo City have upped the tempo to­wards the end of the sea­son when they are al­ready in the rel­e­ga­tion zone and they re­cently beat ZPC Kariba. Apart from the re­sult, there was a clash of uni­forms and fans could not sep­a­rate the two teams be­cause Bu­l­awayo City wear­ing — red tops, white shorts red stock­ings, ZPC Kariba were wear­ing white tops, red shorts, white stocks.

Af­ter ask­ing the away team about this, the ex­pla­na­tion was the match of­fi­cials agreed to this, af­ter they told them that they had an away kit which is all white. Still they could not al­low them to use it. The writer went and asked the match com­mis­sioner Jen­nifer Ncube who de­clined to com­ment.

It was so sim­ple to pre­dict the team with good in­ten­tions of get­ting to the fi­nal. Ba­musi was mak­ing criss-cross runs around Dy­namos de­fend­ers and won his team a free kick that re­sulted in the open­ing goal.

In fact, Tri­an­gle could have scored more goals in the first half but they were ei­ther not so lucky or were a bit blunt up­front.

Dy­namos were aim­less through­out the game and got the only goal from Mar­shal Mac­haz­ane off a cor­ner kick af­ter Tri­an­gle’s keeper hes­i­tated to go and punch the ball in the crowded box al­low­ing Mac­haz­ane to head into the nets.

Again the ugly face of hooli­gan­ism came from Dy­namos sup­port­ers who caused a 15minute stop­page af­ter an as­sis­tant ref­eree was hit by an ob­ject, in­jur­ing him in the process.

Un­til foot­ball au­thor­i­ties come up with some stiff penal­ties, hooli­gan­ism will not end. As part of pun­ish­ment, clubs must play in an empty sta­di­ums un­til this mad­ness stops.

Nomsa “Boys” Moyo (jersey num­ber 17) with the Mighty War­riors squad that took part in the 8th All Africa Games in Abuja Nige­ria in 2003

Nomsa “Boys” Moyo

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