Zim to benefit from FIFA boost for Cosafa coaches

Coaches of teams that will participate in the 2011 edition of the Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships in Botswana next month will receive a significant boost.

The regional football controlling body has announced that a FIFA-led coach’s course will be held in the host country.

Zimbabwe will be among those participating. The Young Warriors will battle it out with Angola, Madagascar and Namibia in Group D.

“FIFA, together with COSAFA, have arranged the course in Gaborone, from November 13-19,” said the organisers early this week.

“It will be held ahead of the 2011 Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships that will once again be held in Botswana from December 1-10, following the huge success of the tournament in that country last year.”

The coaches’ course will be run by FIFA Instructors Roy Miller from UEFA and Sonnyboy Sethibe of Botswana, together with COSAFA representative, Lesotho’s Baba Malephane.

“One of the main aims of the course is to help local coaches from the region get to grips with the changes in the game that have come in over the last decade. Football is an ever-evolving sport and the principles of coaching, while largely the same as a decade ago, have changed slightly too in the eyes of FIFA.”

Zimbabwe, who avoided defending champions, Zambia and perennial rivals, South Africa in this year’s edition of the annual championships, will be hoping to emulate their 2007 feat, in which the now Germany-based Knowledge Musona came off the bench to inspire the Young Warriors to a 3-0 win over hosts South Africa.

Two winners from each group will automatically qualify for the semi-finals of the competition, with this year's matches billed for December 1-10 2011 at the University of Botswana's stadium and Molelopole Stadium in Gaborone, with 15 countries having already confirmed their participation.

Other participants are hosts Botswana, Comoros, Seychelles, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi.

South Africa remain the most successful side in the tournament, having won it in three times in five years – 2004, 2006 and 2008, in what can be attributed to their hosting of the tournament, followed by Zambia who triumphed in the last two editions.

Madagascar (2005) and Zimbabwe (2007) are the only other sides to have recorded success in the youth tournament that is meant to develop soccer talent in the region.

The Young Warriors were knocked out by eventual winners Zambia last year, but ended third after a 3-1 win over Madagascar.

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