AS the COPA Coca-Cola Under-15 boys and girls’ tournament national finals draw closer, it will be a hive of activity on Friday and Saturday with all provinces expected to hold their provincial finals that will determine their representatives at this year’s edition.
Mashonaland West are the hosts for this year’s national event to run from 11 to 13 July in Kadoma.
But before that the provinces will channel their energies towards their final competitions, which will decide their representatives at the country’s prestigious schools football tournament.
While most of the provincial competitions are slated for Friday and Saturday Matabeleland North will kick-start their finals on Thursday with the girls matches, followed by the boys event on Friday.
In Bulawayo, Mpopoma High School boys finished ahead of Msiteli and Sikhulile with the three schools now heading for the provincial competition.
In the girls category, Mpopoma had Magwegwe and Nkulumane finishing behind with the three teams also heading to the provincial finals.
Last year, Mpopoma had their boys and girls’ teams representing Bulawayo at the COPA Coca-Cola national finals played in Zvishavane. The Mpopoma girls impressed at the national event where they were beaten 2-1 in the final by Nyamauru.
From Bulawayo Central, Gifford and Milton are the boys’ teams that are heading to the provincial finals while Townsend as well as Founders are the girls sides that made it. Reigate district will be represented by Luveve and Mzilikazi for the boys while the girls’ teams are Sobukhazi, Luveve together with Mzilikazi.
From Imbizo, Mncumbatha and Maranatha are the girls’ representatives while Tennyson Hlabangana, Eastview and Maranatha are the boys’ teams that are taking part in the provincial finals.
St Bernard’s and Pumula will carry the hopes for Khami District in the boys competition.
The Bulawayo finals for the boys are taking place on Friday with the girls competition set for Saturday, all at Gifford High School.
In Matabeleland North, the boys contest will feature Masimbinya, Gloag, Hwange, Jotsholo,
In Matabeleland South, hosts Mzingwane and Mvuthu high schools made it to the provincial finals.
The district finals were held at Mzingwane High School on 7 June with six schools taking part for a ticket to the provincial finals.
The two local rivals met in the district finals which were won by Mzingwane 5-4 on penalties but both sides will compete in the provincial finals because Mzingwane will be hosts and by virtue of being losing finalists, Mvuthu are the district representatives.
Since 2011, Bekezela Mavundla has overseen his Mzingwane side win five of the six provincial championships and one national championship making him one of the most successful Under-15 coaches in the country.
He is also the first and only coach to bring the national title to Matabeleland South. Mavundla’s Mzingwane were crowned national champions in 2012.