From Chisamba Singles Sakubva Mutare to Dynamos Football Club, Meet Wonder Sithole
In this interview the Zimbabwean on Sundays Grace Chirumanzu talks to talented Dynamos midfielder Wonder Sithole about the game in general and his ambition to play in the major leagues abroad. Excerpts:
Grace Chirumanzu (GC): Some fans feel you should have been among the Soccer Stars of the year given your performances with Dynamos last season. Do you know why you were not selected and any hard feelings about being left out? Wonder Sithole (WS): I believe selectors have set criteria they use to determine who become the soccer stars and I cannot pass judgment on their selections. What I can only do is to keep working hard and hope that one day I will be recognized. GC: And what really is the objective going forward? What is that career goal that keeps you inspired? WS: I always try to work hard with each season and knowing that one day I may get a chance to play professionally at a foreign club gives me the drive to keep trying my best. GC: How is it like playing for arguably the biggest club in the country? What is the most exciting thing when you put on that blue DeMbare jersey? WS: It must be the clubs huge fan base. I tell you its very fun, no player really wants to play before an empty stadium, and it is always motivating to be supported by such a large crowd.
Of course, sometimes they can also get to jeer at their own players when one makes a blunder, but it is up to me as a player to understand how supporters feel and behave. Besides getting cheered on by everyone when you are playing well and being jeered at when you not doing so well is something any soccer player would have to be accustomed to. GC: Dynamos is on quite a good run these days, tell us what has new coach Elvis Chiweshe done to change things so dramatically? WS: I think it is not really a question of the new coach changing things. What he has done since taking over from Mandigora (David) has been to inspire the team and give the boys a new sense of self-belief. We have this new confidence in ourselves and that has helped a lot. GC: Describe coach Elvis Chiweshe to us. Is he the tough and strict disciplinarian-type that instills fear in the player or what type of a guy is he?
WS: Well our coach is not much of a strict type. He is actually like a brother to us. I tell you if you were to come to our training sessions you could probably fail to tell who is the coach because of how we all relate so well.
However, this is not to say players take advantage of that and fail to show him respect. We are professionals, we know where to draw the line, and we have always respected our coach but not feared him. GC: The departure of Thomas Sweswe for South Africas Kaizer Chiefs last month must have been quite a drawback for DeMbare. How has the team coped with the loss of such a key player? WS: Well he is a good player and we appreciated his presence in the team but his absence will not affect us that much as there are equally good players who can easily fit in for his place. GC: And can you disclose a little secret to us: who do you consider to be the toughest opponent or who would you say has been the toughest opponent you have had to face on the field? WS: I consider Tunisias Etoile du Sahel to have been the toughest opponents for me when we played them in the Champions League last year. Their player gave me a torrid time on the field though we went on to win match 1-0.
Fullnames :Wonder Sithole
D.O.B :2 October 1982
Jersey Number :18
Former Clubs :Masvingo United, Zupco Mutare
Current Club :Dynamos F.C
Sithole, whose contract with Dynamos runs till the end of this year, had not been registered at the start of the season due to the knee injury he sustained last year when Dynamos and Motor Action locked horns in the second leg of their Premiership fixtures.
He had barely played five minutes when he twisted his knee in a challenge and has never played competitively since then, as the Premiership was almost coming to the end when the unfortunate incident happened.
Dynamos went on to win 1-0 although they later lost the Premiership battle to the same Mighty Bulls in a protracted fight that went right to the wire.
Control ... Goal scorer Wonder Sithole streaks away from Lengthen's Tawanda Magaisa
The attacking midfielder is delighted to have been registered for the second half of this season as he said he is now as fit as a fiddle and eager to enter the fray.
"It feels great to be back again," he said.
"It really hurts to miss action due to injuries but it happens and we don't have control over these things so as a player you will just be praying that you get better."
The former Masvingo United star has been training with the team ever since he recovered two and half months ago.
He however could have come back earlier had it not been for the late treatment as his club took its time to avail funds.
The 28-year- old playmaker however had kind words for the club.
"The delay was kind of understandable because then we were heading towards the end of the season and you know how it is when the season ends, people go on holiday," he said.
Although he did not make it into the last 18 of the team that played CAPS United on Sunday, Sithole could feature for Dynamos anytime soon as the coach, Lloyd Mutasa, believes he is now fit and has what it takes to easily fit into the team.
"His come-back will really boost the team," Mutasa said.
"He is one of the most intelligent players we have; even a half- fit Sithole can play better than many players in the Premiership.
"What impresses me much is his eye for goal. A game can hardly pass without him attempting at goal and he is one player you can afford to keep in the game even if he is not playing well because he can change the game any minute."
Sithole's best moment in Dynamos colours came last year when Dynamos clashed with Entente Setiff of Tunisia as he scored the only goal of the match, winning it for DeMbare.
He started his professional football career at Zupco Mutare, then a Division One side based in Mutare, while he was still at St Dominics High School before joining another Division One side, Gutu Leopards, based in Masvingo in1999.
In 2 000, he moved to Masvingo United which was then under Tanda Tavaruva, a Masvingo bus operator, before departing in2008 to join Dynamos.
He is currently one of the four players in the Dynamos squad who came from Masvingo United, the other three being skipper George "Mavhariro" Magariro, midfielder Milton "Copper" Makopa and pacey forward Martin "Jolly" Vengesai.
Dynamos have registered two midfielders in the current mid-season transfer window, the other one being pint-sized winger, Nathan Ziwini, who was formerly with Gunners.
The Zimbabwean and Daily Mail
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