Southern Africa chief scout Eric Bafana, left, with youngster Brandon Nyagurungo

Cayor Academy offer budding stars a kick of life

TWO budding local footballers – Luckmore Mutumbi and Sean Mzinde – have been presented with a rare opportunity to pursue their careers in Europe if they impress at famed Senegal-based Cayor Foot Academy in the next year.

The two teenagers, who are home to Warren Park’s Dreamers Academy, left the country yesterday afternoon for Senegal where they have already registered for that country’s developmental league.

The renowned Cayor Academy, which is based in Dakar and is owned by French Peirre Mathieu, is increasingly viewed as the major gateway to Europe for African players as it ships out over 100 players each year.

Scouts from several European countries such as France, Belgium, Norway, Denmark and Sweden frequent the academy that has exported some of Africa’s top players like Senegalese goalkeeper Dialy Kobaly Ndiaye, who is in the books of Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims.

The academy with the help of their Southern Africa chief scout Eric Bafana was instrumental in Tino Kadewere move to Sweden’s Djugardens before moving to Le Havre in French second tier before eventually joined Lyon in Ligue 1.

Bafana now hopes Mutumbi and Mzinde could as well travel the same route.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the two boys and the assumption is that they will grab it with both hands,” Bafana, who is based in South Africa told the News.

“Following the exploits of Kadewere, there appears to be an increase in demand of Zimbabwe players. We are going to see more young players from Zimbabwe taking the same route. We could have sent more players but we were heavily affected by Covid-19.

“My task is to recruit from Southern Africa. When these boys go to Cayor, they are refined there before placed to different teams in Europe. A player is placed depending on his type of play. The two if they impress they will send for trials to Europe.”

Dreamers Academy coach Tichaona Chinyanga is equally excited with the development.

“This is a huge development and we wish our boys well. We hope they will make the grade,” Chinyanga said.

“They are hardworking players, technically gifted and do play according to instructions. These are future Zimbabwe stars and we all need to support them.”

Another local teenage star Brandon Nyagurungo, recently withdrew from the Academy after securing a scholarship to United States. Nyagurungo, a former Prince Edward Student who, joined the academy in January, got a scholarship to study in the United States.