Rusu­nun­guko op­ti­mistic

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - El­lina Mh­langa Sports Reporter

FOL­LOW­ING their suc­cess story at last year’s Copa Coca-Cola foot­ball tour­na­ment in Bin­dura, Rusu­nun­guko will be seek­ing a re­peat of the same suc­cess story when the 30th edi­tion’s fi­nals ex­plode in Zvisha­vane in July.

The boys Un­der-15 reign­ing cham­pi­ons will be re­mem­bered for their ex­cep­tional show dur­ing last year’s event when they fought all the way to the fi­nal.

They clinched the ti­tle with a 10-mem­ber team af­ter some of their play­ers failed the vet­ting process.

With the odds staked against them, the Mashona­land East-based school re­fused to be bul­lied into sub­mis­sion.

This year’s games get into full swing next Thurs­day with the zonal com­pe­ti­tion across the coun­try.

Rusu­nun­guko, by the virtue of be­ing defending cham­pi­ons, have their place se­cured at the na­tional fi­nals run­ning from July 12 to 14.

Coach Eremu Madzinga says they are aware it’s not an easy road to emerge over­all win­ners of the coun­try’s pres­ti­gious schools tour­na­ment and they are not liv­ing any­thing to chance.

“We will play in the zon­als, dis­tricts and pro­vin­cial games. Foot­ball is no longer easy these days be­cause there are no small teams any­more.

‘’Re­mem­ber when we went into last year’s tour­na­ment, we were un­der­dogs, no one imag­ined that we were go­ing to win. “So if we could do it just from nowhere it means there are other schools out there that can achieve the same. So we have to be pre­pared.

“We have al­ready started play­ing games con­sid­er­ing that we are in the Harare Schools Cham­pi­ons league. That’s where we get most of our ex­pe­ri­ence, we play teams like Prince Ed­ward, Al­lan Wil­son and last week­end we beat Seke High 1 in the Un­der-15 cat­e­gory,” said Madzinga.

The reign­ing cham­pi­ons will face pro­vin­cial win­ners for Masvingo and Mashona­land West in Group D.

Schools from Mashona­land West have also been flex­ing their mus­cles in the last two edi­tions with Chin­hoyi High los­ing to Ru­jeko in 2016, in Gwanda, while Pfu­pa­jena went down to Rusu­nun­guko last year in Bin­dura.

Madzinga said it’s go­ing to be a tough as­sign­ment but is con­fi­dent they will build on their ex­pe­ri­ence from last year’s par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“This is the group of death. But we will leave no stone un­turned, we are go­ing to pre­pare fully for these teams con­sid­er­ing that we beat Pfu­pa­jena from Mashona­land West, they are the los­ing fi­nal­ists. ‘’And Masvingo have al­ways been a pow­er­house.

“So it’s a group of death and in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence I think we are not that ex­pe­ri­enced as com­pared to Masvingo. But this ex­pe­ri­ence we have from last year, and also con­sid­er­ing we won with 10 men, we are go­ing to do won­ders.

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