Mozambique look to cultivate future stars in Harare

Mozambique’s participation in the CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023 from December 14-16 will hopefully inspire a generation to seek a professional career in the game, the country’s federation have said.

Mozambique were absent from the inaugural competition last year in Malawi and so will debut in Harare and go into the zonal qualifiers with high hopes.

Like most countries, they have selected their Boys’ and Girls’ squads from a range of schools, picking the best players from the national qualification stage.

“The competitions is crucial for the schools and players because it provides an opportunity to show their skills, interact with other schools and share the values that winning or performing well can enhance our reputation,” a statement from the Mozambican Football Federation said. “Additionally, the challenges posed in the competition contribute to our learning and skills development.”

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is played at the Under-15 level and so for the players this is a first exposure to international competition and allowing them to dream of a future in the game at a professional level.

It will be an excellent test against their peers from around the Southern African region and provide a yardstick as to their progress in their football journey.

“We hope it inspires the players to say it is possible to become a professional and that this is a step towards that. There are some players we have previously produced who currently play in the domestic league.

“We expect these players to follow suit and also to represent the national team at higher age-group levels. We remain optimistic about the potential of our players to make meaningful contributions and proudly represent our country.”

But more than what happens on the pitch, it is also an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange off it, which will form a key component in Harare.

“The players have already learned valuable lessons in teamwork, problem solving and resilience. The competition has already provided (in the national phase) an environment for them to enhance their skills and adapt to challenges.

“Becoming a future leader means making those around you stronger and this competition does exactly that.”

The draw for the 10-team CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will be made in Harare ahead of the tournament.