Soccer coach makes a name in Canada

Like the biblical Joseph, Isaac Mbedzi finds himself living in a far-away land, but still inclined to his homeland and its citizens.

Zimbabwean at heart - Mbedzi.
Zimbabwean at heart – Mbedzi.

Now living in Canada, where he is involved in football development, he wants his country to benefit from his displacement and experience.

Mbedzi runs First Mobile Sports Academy, a springboard that has catapulted young players to international stardom. He hopes that the conservatory will also benefit his homeland, where he wants to see the level of the game reach international standards.

As a way of making sure of that, the Bulawayo-born coach, who played soccer to the First Division in his home country, has partnered his initiative with Bulawayo giants, Highlanders – a love for who remains entrenched in his heart.

He hopes to see this partnership with the club he has supported since childhood, breed the Peter Ndlovus and Bruce Grobbelaars of Zimbabwe’s future.

“My academy gets invitations from most of the top European international youth tournaments, but we always choose the world’s best, which are the Gothia and Danac cup,” said Mbedzi.

“Five of the slots in the tournaments are always reserved for Zimbabwean players, with three of the players coming from the Highlanders academy and two open to other talented players in the country.”

He has approached the Zimbabwean Embassy in Canada with a plan to bring five players from different provinces every December, so that they can participate in the Canadian version of the USA /Canada Winstar University scholarship showcase. This is the number one tournament for Universities from all over Canada and the USA and attracts more than 150 University Coaches and professional scouts from all over the world.

Having quit playing the game early due to an injury, Mbedzi’s founding of the academy was built on the back of a number of training programmes at various highly-respected institutes of sports, which have developed him into one of the world’s best juniors trainers.

Before migrating, he trained various players in Zimbabwe, who have since become top-class PSL stars.

Catch them young - some of the players at Mbedzi’s academy.
Catch them young – some of the players at Mbedzi’s academy.

He has numerous coaching qualifications from national soccer associations in Scotland, Canada, Germany and Holland.

His academy offers extensive technical and tactical skill training, Advice and support from experienced and highly qualified coaches, performance and professional assessment evaluation, realistic recommendations to possible potential level to be attained (how far your child can go) and video showcase of the child for distribution to teams applicable to their level can be obtained upon request. Mbedzi hopes to take his coaching skills to his homeland in four years’ time.

His recipe for Zimbabwe’s international success lies in selflessness and a unity of purpose in those involved in the game. We need to unite and select national team players from all over Zimbabwe and also change with time to a favourable August -May season, which will allow us to play more international friendly games,” said the coach.

“Politics and greedy people bring our soccer down because we have seen people who want to own players rather than to help them and the teams. We need to go back to provincial squads for team selection – the big North versus the South teams coached by provincial coaches. The “Asia-gate” scam should also be professionally dealt with. Let’s have people first admitting that they did something wrong and ask the Zimbabwean people to forgive them, instead of trying to be above the law.”

Post published in: Football

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