Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Dynamos captain Murape Murape has been appointed as Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe’s head coach.
Murape(40), who also served as Dynamos assistant coach was on Thursday unveiled in Harare by the Betis Academy Zimbabwe president, Gerald Sibanda whose Athletes Sphere Management last month announced an agreement to open the Spanish club’s first ever football school in Africa.
Sibanda said Murape’s appointment is in response to cries from the football community for more involvement of the game’s legends after their retirement from playing.
“Murape Murape represents everything that we want to put right in Zimbabwean football. The football community has been crying, what do the football legends do after they retire? So this is one of those post career opportunities that we are trying to create,’’ Sibanda said.
Real Betis international business development manager, Alvaro Suarez said they were happy with Murape’s appointment, with the club’s technical director geared up to work with the Dynamos legend.
“We are very happy with the appointment of the new head coach, the technical director here in Seville is ready to start working with him. We are also very happy to know that there is progress towards our academy and we are looking forward to start moving,’’ Suarez said.
According to Suarez, Real Betis are looking to establish their line of attack and principles in Zimbabwe through the academy.
“From Real Betis we are looking forward to establish our methodology and values as a club in Zimbabwe and becoming one of the admired and recognized European football clubs in the region. We really hope a long lasting relationship between the Zimbabwean community and our club is being put in place through this partnership,” he said.
The Spanish club’s first ever academy on the African continent will become operational in October if all goes according to plan.