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Westerhof at Collen Nyambiya tournament

by Staff reporter
28 Oct 2018 at 08:07hrs | Views
FORMER Warriors coach, Clemens Westerhof is set for a brief stint with local football academy, Young Flying Stars, a development set to boost the club's standing.
Westerhof arrived in the country last week and yesterday attended the Collen Nyambiya Tournament that was held at Raylton Sports Club.

The Dutch coach is in the country at the invitation of local businessman Peter Mubi who is his close friend and also a sponsor of the Young Flying Stars Academy.

Westerhof (78) said while his stay will be short he hopes to impart knowledge that will assist unearth talent at the academy.

"I came into the country at the instigation of my friend Mubi, I was at home in Netherlands and he asked me to come and grace the tournament. He revealed that he was impressed with the work being done by (academy director) Collen Nyambiya and he wants me to assist in whatever way I can.

"Scouting will be one of those areas while I will also look at their training programme and see how we can improve it. Scouting is a critical element that is neglected at most academies but going around and looking for raw talent is the way to go," he said in an interview on Friday.

The former Nigerian national team coach said he is unattached at the moment but is still involved in football and will take up any viable opportunity that arises.

The tournament involved four teams in the Under-15 age group, namely, Young Flying Stars Sports Academy, Ajax Hotspurs, Bulawayo City and Black Cats Academy.

Young Flying Stars director, Nyambiya said they are excited at the opportunity to learn from Westerhof.

He said they will take the opportunity with both hands and hope to learn a lot from the veteran football coach.

"Westerhof has a glittering CV and has achieved notable success in the game so I believe we can learn a lot from him. While he has coached national teams, he also has vast experience in junior development.

"We hope to tap into his experience and knowledge in developing players as we groom tomorrow's stars," said Nyambiya.

Westerhof is also scheduled to attend Young Flying Stars' Under-20 game against Nketa Pirates in Nketa this morning.

The Dutch coach revealed there were several teams in need of players in Holland with Ajax Amsterdam searching for a centre back while PSV are looking for a goalkeeper and is ready to recommend any potential footballers whom he feels can fill in the gaps.

Westerhof rose to prominence after taking charge of the Nigerian national team in 1989 and steadily building the country's prowess that saw the side win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and also qualify for the Fifa World Cup of the same year.

The Super Eagles made impressive performances that saw them exit the tournament at the second round.

Westerhof said he managed the success through travelling widely to search for talented players.

"I would travel around the country searching for unknowns but whom I realised were good. I managed to unearth the likes of Finidi George, Daniel Amokachi, Rashidi Yekini and Peter Rufayi among others through that system," he said.

Some youth academies that Westerhof once worked with include Football College of Excellence in Nigeria, Agatha Sheneti Youth Academy in Harare while he was also in the juniors structures of South Africa's Umtata Bushbucks and Sporting Lions.

Source - zimpapers