Real Betis Academy Zim tour, confidence booster

Shelly Guni

The Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe’s tour to Spain is believed to be the much needed heads-up which will boost more confidence in the young players.

24 Real Betis academy players and three coaches, including director Gerald Sibanda, are already in Spain on a 10-day tour to the Spanish La Liga team Real Betis Balompie.

The Academy, established in Zimbabwe in 2020, aspires to find local talent and give them access to facilities while also exposing them to top-tier coaching by embracing the Spanish club’s philosophy.

The players will train at the Real Betis Balompie facilities throughout the tour and take part in a number of friendly games.

There is bound to be a positive exchange of soccer expertise from the hosts towards the visiting team. As Spain is a world’s renowned football nation and has proved beyond doubt its mettle as evidenced by its vibrant league- Laliga which boasts championship teams in the form of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis to name a few.

Spain is the current home for Warriors star, Tino Kadewere who is plying her trade for RCD Mallorca.

Local football analyst, Martin Changachirere believes Young players can gain a lot from a soccer tour overseas, including better physical skills, health and fitness, personal knowledge, social and emotional growth, and the chance to create and accomplish personal goals in a foreign setting.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the much sought after exposure for the young lads. Football development at a young age is centered around being exposed to competition more often than not. Pitting their skills against peers of the same age group in Spain will provide how far they have come in terms of their development progression.

“More so at a time we are suspended from FIFA. It means local youngsters are not able to compete at club and national level in FIFA sanctioned competitions. This hence plugs that gap in a way,” he says.

Through engagement in novel activities, international soccer tours can also alter views and raise aspirations.

Players are able to become more adaptive and confident, which is essential for so many aspects of personal development, by taking on new challenges and residing among their peers.

“The tour also helps bring exposure to the technical staff and the administrative personnel which cascades into a positive development trajectory for players.

“Tours also expose youngsters to the tenets of sports tourism where they get to see new places, new languages and new cultures, something that players need to be familiar with when they eventually turn professional. So it’s an all-round learning curve.”

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