ZIMBABWEAN teenage star, Yassin Labukeni, is aiming high after signing his first professional football contract with Welsh side Caersws.
Caersws play in the Ardal Leagues North East in South Wales.
The club were founded in 1887 as Caersws Amateurs, and adopted the present name when amateur status was dropped in 1974.
The team play at the Recreation Ground, Caersws, which accommodates 4 000 spectators.
They have signed 17-year-old Labukeni, who arrived in Wales at the beginning of this year, for a two-year exchange programme with Oswestry College.
The programme is part of the sports and education exchange programmes between Oswestry College and Harare’s Prince Edward School.
Labukeni and his handlers are excited to see what the future holds for the promising youngster.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds and I’m just excited to give everything to the club and the fans,” Labukeni said.
Labukeni is being mentored by UK-based Zimbabwean coach, Phillip Zulu, who told The Herald the player is a good prospect.
Zulu said Labukeni has the potential to go far in professional football in Europe.
“Yassin has been working with me during most of his college breaks here in the UK and he has proved he has got good abilities with his left foot.
“His technique, ball mastery and manipulation in using both feet; and his creativity is something that really attracts top-flight professional clubs when they’re scouting on young players.
“He has been training with some of our youngsters who already have been engaged with top-flight clubs and he managed to compete with them without showing any gaps of lower level standards.”
Zulu said Labukeni is physically imposing, as a left-sided player with a good eye for goals, something that he proved when scored eight goals in five games while turning up for his Oswestry College team.
This prompted a local nearby team in South Wales — Caersws — to snap him up.
He was meant to attend trials, last month, with an English Premiership League 1 Under-23 club and the coronavirus situation forced the club to cancel the trials.
“Last week he was meant to attend another trial in London with another Premiership club’s development squad but, again, the coronavirus situation halted this trial.
“He has been a bit unlucky but his talent is definitely visible to attract professional clubs if the opportunities keep coming his way.
“We are already planning to take him to Berlin next year in April for a programme that has been organised by Germany’s former professional footballer, Bernd Wulffen, with some top clubs in the Bundesliga.
“Since I started working with Yassin, I have been in touch with his coaches at Prince Edward High School in Harare.
“They have been very positive to me and mentioned good things about their student who is on a two-year exchange programme with Oswestry College on sports and education programmes,” Zulu said.