Former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari has put in motion an ambitious project which is expected to play an important role in the revival of the once vibrant junior football structures in the country after launching a youth football league in Bulawayo.
The England-based former Manchester City and Portsmouth striker graced the launch of the community-based youth football initiative which was held on Friday in Bulawayo.
The event also marked the launch of Magwegwe City Football Club, a junior team based in his childhood suburb of Old Magwegwe and the first team that will compete in the newly formed Benjani Youth League (BYL).
Mwaruwari said his vision is to revive the Bulawayo City Council-owned youth clubs and have each one in the city establish a team that will compete in the BYL
He also said his long-term vision was the establishment of such leagues across the country.
“I grew up playing football at youth centres. I was a player at Magwegwe Youth Centre and we would travel across the city to play teams from other youth centres. This was not unique to me as all the legends and retired footballers here present will testify,” Mwaruwari said at the launch.
“I would like to see this project go national and we establish such leagues all across Zimbabwe.”
The BYL will be managed by Mwaruwari’s sports consultancy, BM Sports which falls under his Benjani Mwaruwari Foundation.
Diversified insurance group, Nyaradzo Group will be the main sponsors, along with Australia based- Adachi, while the Bulawayo City Council pledged to partner with the league.
Mwaruwari said he was excited at the potential and the limitless possibilities that the league will offer to young players.
The Mayor of Bulawayo, Solomon Mguni, who graced the event also welcomed the initiative and said the council was prepared and willing to partner with the league.