AN old adage goes: “It is not the size of the weapon that matters, but the prowess of the weapon”.
Report by Our Correspondent
That is the best way to describe Monomotapa player maker Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo.
If you come across the pint-sized attacking midfielder off the pitch, you would not think that the petite young man has the capacity of winning matches single-handedly for Monoz.
Chitiyo displayed his pedigree when he netted three goals when Monoz booted out Hardbody in the Mbada Diamonds Cup with a 3-2 win, getting the man-of-the-match award in the process.
Born in Kuwadzana 5, 20 years ago, Chitiyo grew up in Epworth and never dreamt of becoming a top-class player in the top-flight league.
For the speedy striker, street soccer was his daily bread as he would attract attention of passers-by while displaying his skills.
The 20-year-old star has been a toast in the local league, resulting in him getting national team call- ups each time locally-based players have been involved in friendly matches. The latest was the last Warriors’ friendly in Zambia when he came on as a second-half substitute.
He then cemented his pedigree in the Mbada Diamonds Cup opening match against Hardbody at Dulibadzimu in Beitbridge.
Apart from scoring three goals to see Monoz through to the next stage of the cup, Chitiyo scored the fastest goal to date with only 35 seconds into play.
“Rooney” is already in the running for the Golden Boot award of the 16-team tournament and he is currently the top goal scorer with three goals. Monoz raced into a two-goal lead inside three minutes with Chitiyo opening his account within 35 seconds before doubling the lead two minutes later.
Hardbody staged a dramatic comeback with Jacob Muzokomba converting a penalty in the ninth minute before Piniel Manhope’s headed goal completed a four-goal thriller in the first 28 minutes of the match.
However, Chitiyo sealed his hat- trick in the 69th minute. “I am very happy to be the player to score the fastest goal of the tournament and up to now, I cannot believe what happened that day. It was really my day for I made sure that my team progressed to the next round of the tournament,” he said.
The youthful striker dreams of playing for CAPS United.
“I will be the happiest person if I woke up one morning playing for the “Green Machine”. I grew up wishing to play for this team and I hope one day this dream will come true. Like any other serious player, I also pray that one day I will play for any team in Europe,” he said.
Chitiyo said he drew inspiration from his father Frank Chitiyo, who was also a soccer player with former Division One outfit Mhangura.
“Most people think that I draw my inspiration from Wayne Rooney since I am nicknamed after him, but the truth is that my father is my inspirer. He never played in the league, but his passion for soccer was so great that I grew up liking the sport,” he said.
Chitiyo started playing soccer when he was in grade four before joining Douglas Warriors in 2010. Last year he joined Monomotapa and this season he has scored four league goals in 19 appearances.