Bruce Chikuni

ACES Youth Soccer Academy director, Marc Duvillard, is a worried man.

This year marks their 20th anniversary of his establishment, a productive era that earned them the reputation of being arguably the country’s best developmental project.

Now, sadly, the academy is bankrupt and on the verge of collapsing. And, Duvillard who is currently in Switzerland, is not certain if this project will keep running without sponsorship.

Aces Youth Academy, which produced the likes of Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat, is known for paying the school fees for its recruits.

Duvillard told Zimpapers Sports they are still looking for the funds to fulfil their mandate when schools reopen next month.

Duvillard has been sharing the cost of keeping this ship moving with co-director Nigel Munyati.

“The situation has been too much for us in the last three years after the expiry of our partnership with a European partner.

“Yes, it’s true that our standards have not been the same during this phase and we are trying to unlock other avenues to get this project up and running again but it’s really tough.

“Things are also tight in Europe and chances that we will get a sponsorship deal seem very low,” said Duvillard.

He added, “It was going to be better if we were going to get a deal with any of the local companies but they seem not interested at all.

“We are not going to give up but the reality is that I don’t see us going for a long run if the situation doesn’t change.

“We are also looking to get the funds since the schools are reopening next month.”

The Academy has also stopped their annual international tours as a result of this crisis.

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