Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

RECRUITMENT of playes has started for the Real Betis Academy in Zimbabwe with registration of Under-18 boys, ahead of the official opening of academy next month.

Gerald Sibanda, the Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe president and chief executive officer said they had begun the recruitment process, starting with boys, with the enrollment of other groups as well as girls to come later.

“We have started our recruitment phase, we will start with phase one, this is registration mainly for the Under-18 boys, once the restrictions are a bit eased off, we are now able to start doing football camps around the country for all age groups. We will slowly fuse in the girls and boys teams from all the age groups as we hold football camps around the country,’’ Sibanda said.

The idea is to build a database before the coaches put the players through the different phases of training. Former Dynamos captain Murape Murape has already been appointed as the academy’s head coach.

“For now we are looking at registration, have the database and then allow our recruitment team and our coaches to start putting players in different phases.”

A football camp is planned for Bulawayo where Betis Academy Zimbabwe are planning unveil coaches for the centre soon.

“We will have a football camp happening in Bulawayo until we also establish a permanent base in Bulawayo. We will be in Bulawayo soon to appoint our coaches officially who will be running the Bulawayo centre,’’ said Sibanda.

On the official opening, Sibanda said they should start operating by the middle of October once they are given clearance by responsible authorities.

“We expect to launch anytime in October, maybe after mid October, we will get guidance from Zifa, SRC and other relevant authorities.”

Sibanda bemoaned the negative impact of Covid-19, which has slowed down the academy’s progress but expressed his appreciation to all those who have given their support to ensure the programme becomes a success story for Zimbabwean football.