The 2022 Marvelous Nakamba U17 Invitational Tournament has come and gone. This year’s tournament was held at the White City stadium from the 25th to the 26th of June 2022. It was the inaugural edition of the much-anticipated Nakamba annual youth football tournament following its suspension last year in July owing to the government efforts to try and curb the spread of the covid 19 infections.
Eight teams that were invited to participate are Njube Spurs, Hwange Dynamo, Bulawayo City, Ajax Hot Spurs, Chicken Inn, and Majesa Academy.
The Highlanders under 17 side made it to the final after coming out of a group that consisted of Dynamos, Njube Spurs, and Majesa Academy.
The first semi-final saw Highlanders take on Chicken Inn and after a heavily contested match, Highlanders defeated the gamecocks and proceeded to the final.
Highlanders put up a good fight in the final losing 2-1 to Mutare-based side Majesa Academy. The final was played before an appreciative crowd that braved the chilly weather to witness some of the finest youth players in action.
One of the key players that shone in the tournament is the young talented Prince Ndlovu and Nhlanhla Msaliwa.
Prince Ndlovu who is only 16 years old, captained the squad throughout the tournament and he gave a man-of-the-match performance in the final against Majesa Academy. Ndlovu was later promoted to the first team. He was plucked from the Bosso 90 Developmental side coached by Melusi Mabaleka Sibanda.
Ndlovu impressed in his first game when Highlanders FC was taking on Manica Diamonds at Barbour field’s stadium.
Nhlanhla Msaliwa, who is also one of the tournament’s top goal scorers, at the age of 16 has become a key player in the Highlanders under 20 side that currently competes in the Southern League Division 1.
Gim who is 15 also played a pivotal role in the tournament and became a key player in the ZIFA under 17 league.
The Tournament was hailed for giving young players from across the country a platform to showcase their talent.
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