AHEAD of his inaugural Marvelous Nakamba Under-17 football tournament, the Aston Villa holding midfielder has underscored the need to continue with the tradition of supporting grassroots sports.
The national contest which will be hosted by Marvelous Nakamba’s foundation is set to go ahead in a fortnight after being cleared by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).
The SRC has only cleared topflight football in the form of the Chibuku Super Cup with all other lower leagues and juniors still to return to the pitch. The Marvelous Nakamba Foundation Youth Invitation Tournament, scheduled for 19 and 20 June, is set to feature eight teams from across the country and will be held in Bulawayo.
“Grassroots football is a very important part of the survival of football, we have all come through the system of being afforded chances at an early stage and it is befitting that we continue the tradition of supporting grassroots Sports. We appreciate the approval from the custodians of football and it is our hope that this tournament will raise the curtain to the commencement of junior football in the country, this will be a stepping stone to a Covid complying football era,” said Nakamba a former Highlanders and Bantu Rovers junior teams’ player.
In a statement released on Tuesday the foundation said they endeavour to empower grassroots football through this tournament that will see over 400 budding footballers get an opportunity to showcase the talent that we have in abundance.
“We have set the official launch of the tournament for 11 June 2021 at a local venue where we will unveil the teams that are participating as well as the rules of the tournament. However, we would also love to be quick to mention that due to covid protocols, this will be a closed event. We will make sure that all football lovers will be able to follow the action at the comfort of their homes as this tournament will be live streamed via our social media pages (Facebook @Marvelous Nakamba foundation, twitter @Nakamba_MNF and instagram @mnakambafoundation).
After debuting in the local Premier Soccer League at the age of 16 for Bantu Rovers in 2010, Nakamba (27) has undergone a massive transformation in the last decade.
From a school boy at Njube High School, he is now a key figure for English Premiership side Aston Villa.
He played for Bantu Rovers under coach Methembe Ndlovu for two years, and in 2012 moved to French side AS Nancy before he joined Dutch club Virtesse Arnhem in 2014.
He then moved to Belgian giants Club Brugge in June 2017 and on 1 August 2019 made the biggest break to Aston Villa, where he is rubbing shoulders with some of the best footballers in the world and getting huge financial rewards for his talent.