HomeSportMukamba’s Europe dream move

Mukamba’s Europe dream move

“SO far so good.”

Report by Albert Marufu

That is how Bidvest Wits midfielder Denver Mukamba describes his first five months in the Absa Premiership.

The confidence he exudes belies the agony “Mundikumbuke” has endured across the Limpopo, where he has largely been an unused substitute in the squad that was coached by Clive Barker, who has since left the club.

To the 20-year-old who arrived in South Africa under a weight of expectations as he was the reigning Soccer Star of the Year in Zimbabwe, the first five months have provided him with an insight into soccer outside the borders.

“I am a good player and just needed to adapt to the new environment. I feel ready to play now and I hope new coach Gavin Hunt will give me game time,” said Mukamba, who has had only one substitute appearance at the club.

“I got a lot of advice from my teammates ‘Father’ [Tinashe Nengomasha] and Thomas [Svesve], have been very helpful to me.
“I was just not given time to prove myself at Bidvest Wits. The coach preferred players he knew and that left no room for new boys like me,” he said.

“I just pray that the new coach [Hunt] will give me game time. I am not asking for preferential treatment, but just a chance to prove myself.”

Mukamba said he has learnt from his mistakes and has the ability to pick himself up.

“In the 2011 season, I had problems with discipline and often got unnecessary bookings. Sometimes this cost the team [Dynamos]. At the beginning of the 2012 season, I looked at my weaknesses and the results are there for everyone to see,” he said.

The 2011 Rookie Player of the Year added that he is good enough to play for teams like Manchester United or Chelsea.

“When I joined Bidvest Wits, some people said I should have gone straight to Europe, but this is a stepping stone for me. My time will come. My targets are Manchester United or Chelsea in England. I give myself at least two more seasons at Bidvest Wits and if I fail to go to Europe, I will play for either Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates. Bidvest Wits are a good team, but it is not the same as playing for Dynamos. Dynamos have supporters everywhere,” he said.

“There is better football in Zimbabwe, but the resources are not there. In South Africa the infrastructure is good.”

Dismissing suggestions that he should relinquish the national team captaincy to concentrate on regaining first team position at Bidvest Wits, Mukamba said he has never disappointed in national colours.

“People expect a lot from us and that is normal. However, for the 2014 World Cup, I think Egypt has a chance and we should focus on rebuilding the team. I think I deserve the captaincy because I have never failed my country.

“If you watched our game against Egypt, you will realise that we played very well despite the loss. It was good that the match was televised and everyone saw how the team performed. We lost that game on set pieces and with patience results will come,” said Mukamba.
Mukamba has not forgotten his DC Academy roots and is currently training with the Division One outfit to inspire the youth before he returns to South Africa.

“I am currently training with my team DC Academy. My presence inspires these players. This is where I started before going to Kiglon FC and later Dynamos,” he said.

He also revealed his ambition to invest in property because soccer is a short-term career.

“I want to try and emulate our elders like Benjani Mwaruwari who bought property. I am still to invest because mari haisati yavepo [there is no money],” he said.

Last year, Mukamba won the Soccer Star of the Year and the Dynamos Player of the Year awards, raking close to US$10 000 in the process.

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