By Takudzwa Chitsiga
The first edition of the Shield-Chelsea talent search ended with Joseph Mandevhane being selected to represent Zimbabwe this year. Mundevhani was part of the 34-member team that was in a boot camp for one week in the capital and managed to win the jackpot.
He will be part of the Africa XI that will play the Chelsea Legends.
The search was conducted by local coaches with the assistance of the Chelsea development coaches.
Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu, Callisto Pasuwa, Naison Muchekela and Alois Bunjira have been handling the talent search since April.
They were joined by their counterparts from Chelsea, Laurence Griffin, Antony Myers and Steve O’Reilly, who arrived in the country on Tuesday for the final assessment. Nineeten-year-old Mandevhani was the successful player.
The holding midfield player said he was looking forward to a memorable adventure in South Africa, where he will spend a week, as well as in Europe.
“I can’t explain how happy I am at the moment. Emotions have just overcome me, it’s as if I am dreaming and I would like to thank Unilever for the chance as well as my parents and family who supported me through and through.
‘It was a privilege to work with experienced coaches like Pasuwa and I am looking forward to going there to make an impact,” said Mandevhani.
The former Mt Plesant High School student will be part of the Africa XI side that will feature in an exhibition match against the Chelsea Legends.
The visiting coaches were full of praise for the talented player.
“We were looking for someone with skill, who was comfortable with the ball and in Joseph I think we have that.
“I thank the local coaches who had a torrid time to trim the players from a large number like 2 000 to 34.
“We also had tough time so they did a splendid job,” said Griffin.
Unilever managing director Hilary Muzondiwa said everything went well.
‘’We are happy that everything went on well and we have finally come to the end of the selection process,” said Muzondiwa. The Herald