Bantu goes for young blood

Raymond Jaravaza
In the 1950a��s Manchester United Football Club wrote their own piece of history by infusing a large number of young players into the first team in what became a championship winning side now commonly referred to as the a�?Busby Babesa��.

Under the management of Matt Busby from the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s the Busby Babes were notable not only for being young and gifted, but for being developed by the club itself, rather than bought from other clubs, with a player average age of 21 years.

The Busby Babes became a revelation at the time sweeping silverware at will until eight players lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster in February 1958. A number of players were seriously injured in the air plane crash.

Back home Zifa Southern Region club Bantu Rovers is attempting going the Busby Babes route by challenging for the championship title with a young squad of players under the age of 20.

a�?Three quarters of our squad is made up of players under the age of 20, ita��s a relatively young side and we are definitely gunning for the championship,a�? said club general manager Wilbert Sibanda.

This is a route the club has taken before.

In 2012 the Methembe Ndlovu-owned club agonisingly came close to winning the title with a young team.

a�?If you remember in 2012 we lost the championship on the last day of the season and the majority of players in that team were under the age of 19. Ita��s a route we have taken before and we are confident of getting the desired result, that is winning the championship,a�? said Sibanda.

Three weeks ago the club cut ties with coach Mandla a�?Lulua�� Mpofu over the direction the club was taking.

While the club opted for a young squad, the coach wanted an experienced team which he believed would be better equipped to take on the rigours of Division One football.

Former Highlanders midfield maestro Johannes Ngodzo took over the coaching reins and his first assignment is an away trip to ZPC Hwange in the coal mining town.

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