Zimbabwe step up preparations for COSAFA Under-20 Championships

Zimbabwe Under-20 coach Bekithemba Ndlovu was in Bulawayo on Monday to conduct trials as he continues to build towards the COSAFA Under-20 Championships that will be staged in Zambia from December 6-16.

Ndlovu is looking for fresh talent across Zimbabwe ahead of the regional showpiece, where he hopes his side can add to their six previous titles, the last of which was won in 2007.

Zimbabwe will be among the favourites again given the huge amount of young talent that exists in the country, which has led Ndlovu to start his nationwide search.

Similar trials will also be held in Harare by coaches Mark Mathe and Mike Madzivanyika as they seek out the best young players that will not only feature for the side at the COSAFA Under-20 Championships, but also in the African Under-20 Championship qualifiers next year as well.

Zimbabwe have not appeared at the continental finals since 1985, a long wait for their country’s youngsters amid considerably more success with the senior national team in the last three decades.

Ndlovu has been handed the reins of the Zimbabwe Under-20 team after former coach Mandla Mpofu was elevated to work alongside Norman Mapeza with the senior national team.

Zimbabwe competed at the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, but did not make it out of the first round.

They lost 5-1 to eventual winners Zambia in their opening match, before behind held to a 0-0 draw by Malawi in the tournament played in South Africa.