Aces Youth Soccer Academy, famed for producing genuine football talents such as the current Warriors trio of Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiart and Licoln Zvasiya, embark on a historic tour of Switzerland this week where they have been invited to participate in the Bellinzona Youth International Tournament.
The elite school of football excellence will line up against seven other teams from around the world, each specially selected to provide a different flair of their traditional football in the annual tournament that caters for the Under-18 age group.
Besides the Zimbabweans, other teams to take part in the Swiss invitational competition are Spanish side Atletico Madrid, Boca Juniors from Argentina, Desportivo of Brasil, Italian Serie A side Genoa, Hadjuk Split from Croatia and local Swiss teams Basilea and Ticino. AYSA will engage in several friendlies against other junior teams in Switzerland before the tournament kicks off. The entire tour runs from March 20 to April 2.
Aces director Nigel Munyati said the life-changing tour was part of the AYSA’s on-going programme that started in 2005 to give its players international exposure and experience to prepare them for senior football in Zimbabwe and abroad.
“Former AYSA students and now international stars; Daryl Nyandoro, Musona, Billiat, Zvasiya, and Amidu have all benefited from similar international exposure. The last tour in 2010 was the AYSA girls travel to Switzerland to participate in the 33rd Rapid Lugano Easter Festival. They placed third in a tournament that included teams from Switzerland, Italy and Romania,” said Munyati.
In another ground-breaking move, AYSA’s star midfielder Merjury Nyaumwe and fellow Mighty Warrior, goalkeeper Onai Chingawo, will be going for trials with German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich at the end of the month. They could become Zimbabwe’s first female exports to Europe if they impress during the trial stint that runs from March 30 to April 9.
The young athletes impressed scouts during a tour of Germany by the senior national team in 2011.
“AYSA is excited for the two ladies and proud to see the fruits of the Academy’s commitment to developing Zimbabwe’s football potential,” said Munyati.