FORMER champions Chicken Inn have promised to help 14-year-old Mpopoma High School pupil, Awakhiwe Tshalibe, with all the help he needs to realise his dreams.
Chicken Inn coach, Joey Antipas said they are hoping to help him grow in the game.
“He has been our junior player and we have seen it fit to register him as one of the junior players in the first team slot.
“He has great potential and talent.
“As he goes to school, he is a player that we are seeking to help to grow in the game.
“He will not be rushed but nurtured in our club as we look forward to seeing him improve.
“He has talent that needs to be exposed early. He just needs to maintain his cool, keep his head between his shoulders,” said Antipas.
The teenage player’s mother, Felitity Dube, said she was overwhelmed.
“I don’t even know what to say. I’m so happy for Awakhiwe.
“However, the challenge is to prioritise juggling his school work and football.
“He should work extra hard, not get carried away and represent us as family and Mpopoma High School well,” she said.
Tshalibe stays in Bulawayo’s high density suburb of Entumbane and is the third born child in a family of four.
Mpopoma High School Sports Academy (MPOSA) director, James Rugwevera, said they are also pleased to have a Premier Soccer League player.
“Awakhiwe has a bright future ahead of him and is set to break records.
“He is a skilful youngster.
“His recognition and registration by Chicken Inn as a first team player should encourage other young football players.
“We are grateful to Chicken Inn for making such a bold decision and we are looking forward to seeing Awakhiwe making his first team appearances on a regular basis.
“We believe he doesn’t belong to the bench,” said Rugwevera.
MPOSA is an initiative that has nurtured a number of rising footballers that include ex-Dynamos midfielder, Junior Makunike, who is now in the books of Simba Bhora.
MPOSA was also home to Chicken Inn right back Arthur Chinda and Hwange’s midfielder Tendai Muvuti.
Late last year, Tshalibe was the fans favourite when Zimbabwe Under-15 side took part in the COSAFA Schools tournament at Harare’s Gateway High School.
“My dream is to play for a big club in England.
“I believe I can do it if I keep on working hard and keep on praying that my dream comes true,” he said.