Any job will do for Zim’s desperate graduates

CAPS United and Zimbabwe striker Nyasha Mushekwi believes he was given a better trial assessment in Belgium than earlier in South Africa.

Mushekwi, who bagged 21 goals in the PSL last season to land the golden boot award, spent three weeks with Belgian top-flight side Germinal Beerschot last month on trials before returning home to his local club. Media reports back home said Beerschot would only sign him at the beginning of next season after impressing the coaches at De Ratten (The Rats).

Before heading to Europe, Mushekwi also had trials with South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns.

“It’s way (more) advanced than in South Africa,” Mushekwi told IndependentSport. “The way they do their things; maybe they are just more professional. Everything is organised. They have specialist coaches for all facets of the game. In SA I felt I didn’t get enough time to prove myself the whole week I was there. My understanding is that when you go on trials you play friendlies, and stuff like that. That didn’t happen in SA.”

With Zimbabwean players constantly failing to penetrate the leading European leagues, local agents have resorted to contract hunting in such third-tier leagues as the Belgian First Division.

Mushekwi reckons playing standards in Belgium are not  very different from Zimbabwe’s PSL.

“It’s the same as here,” he said. “Just that there they focus more on the basics than anything. It’s the basics that count; not trying to do much with the ball. It’s simple play — control the ball, and pass.”

The 24-year-old said playing in the Belgian league would suit his style.

“I think I will enjoy it. They (Beerschot) were looking for someone who holds the ball for other forwards, like a target man.”

But for now, Mushekwi’s most urgent mission is the upcoming PSL season with Caps United, who enjoyed a good run in the last half of the season after a troubled start.

“The season is going to be tough,” he said. “Our opponents will come with a point to prove.  People will be watching out for Mushekwi, so it’s gonna be tough, but it’s a challenge I will relish.”

The Green Machine will be gunning for their first league championship in five years after Charles Mhlauri led them to back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.

“As players we’ve always wanted to do better for the team,” Mushekwi said. “We’ve always won this cup, that tournament, but we’ve not won the big thing — the league championship. ”This is what we are looking forward to.”

 

Enock Muchinjo