ZIMBABWEAN youngsters have been presented with an opportunity to join Portuguese giants FC Porto with the 2004 UEFA Champions League champions opening a local academy in Harare this weekend.
The nursery, which will accommodate players from the age of three up to 19, will be stationed at Alex Sports Club.
Local director of the academy, Tichaona Moleni, said the football landscape will never be the same again.
“As the director of the academy (FC Porto), I am very excited with this development. Bringing such a giant in global football to establish a school here is something tremendous and I am extremely happy about it,” said Moleni.
“We started engaging with FC Porto a long time ago and they have decided to come and start an academy here.
“I am very delighted by that.
“So, after completing several formalities with relevant authorities, I can confirm that we are doing the ground-breaking ceremony at Alexandre Sports Club this coming weekend.
“We are inviting all aspiring footballers who would like to be part of the FC Porto Academy to come along for a trial”.
Moleni has since recruited former Zimbabwe international footballers, Harlington Shereni, and ex-Mighty Warriors goalkeeper, Onai Chingawo, as the coaches.
“We mean business at FC Porto. We have taken aboard good coaches like Shereni and Chingawo to help us with their technical expertise.
“It is our hope that we will build a very good team that will be able to produce good players to go for ready market across the globe.
“I am happy that FC Porto chose to establish an academy in Zimbabwe.
“We will be touring Europe and other continents for the purposes of picking top notch notes with our players.
“We are accommodating players from the age of three to 19. We are so passionate about development”.
One of FC Porto’s coaches, Emmanuel Cardoso, is expected in the country on November 16 and he will be working on imparting the club philosophy on the players who would have been recruited this weekend.
The academy, Moleni said, will be officially launched in the country in the coming weeks.