MIGRATING to the United Kingdom 12 years ago in search of “greener pastures financially and career wise” ranks among the worst decisions former CAPS United defender Frank “The Dealer” Nyamukuta has ever made in his life.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Now employed in the railway industry after failing to break into the sporting field, the 44-year-old still feels his place is in sport.
“I totally regret coming to the United Kingdom. If I had stayed in Zimbabwe, I would have done much more football wise,” said the ardent Liverpool fan.
Though he has earned a decent living with his current work in the UK railway industry, it is a breakthrough in sport that he so much yearned for.
“Football developed me as a person. My life changed from being a beggar to being a giver. Coming back home to help and develop football is my top priority. Here in the UK, I went to college to study Sports Medicine, but could not finish due to financial constraints,” he said.
“I had an opportunity to coach primary school kids and next month I will be studying towards my coaching badges,” said Nyamukuta.
He started his professional career at the Wieslaw Grabowiski coached Darryn T, but it was at CAPS United that his career blossomed.
“Darryn T could make two strong first teams from their pool of players with the likes of David Mwanza, Sanduka Pakamisa, Lloyd Chitembwe, Japhet Mparutsa, Fanuel Aribeto, Manzini Siwela, Raphael Kawondera, Alois Bunjira, Stewart Murisa and Norman Mapeza,” he said.
The large pool of players however worked as a disadvantage to Nyamukuta who was then playing as a striker.
“The tough competition for places forced me to change positions and I turned into a defender. When an opportunity for first team football came against Dynamos, I excelled. CAPS United signed me in 1995,” said Nyamukuta.
At CAPS he joined the likes of Eddie Muchongwe, Silver Chigwenje and Steve Chikodzi but he excelled and was the club’s best player in his debut season, missing by just a single vote for the country’s best XI of the Year title.
The Steve Kwashi-coached side that also included Murisa and Bunjira swept everything on offer.
“The championship winning CAPS United side of 1996 had talented players and they were well looked after. The fans were fantastic. My favourite stadium was Rufaro, with fans clad in green and white carrying green vegetables in that city end stand. Hearing them singing gave every player an extra push. Kwashi remains my best manager,” he said.
Though he was a success at CAPS United, the Mutare-born star vividly recalls what a menace a former Dynamos striker was to him.
“My toughest opponent was Vitalis Takawira,” he recalls.
Though Nyamukuta won almost everything on offer with CAPS United, his romance with the team came to an end in 2001 when he joined Chigwenje and George Mandizvidza at Motor Action on a season’s loan.
His return to CAPS United the following season could not yield results as then new coach Rahman Gumbo preferred younger players.
“Rahman Gumbo came and changed a lot of things, including the team. He resorted to using young and upcoming players,” said Nyamukuta who was nicknamed “The Dealer” by his High School teacher owing to his love for trading.
His advice to the current CAPS United executive is to run the club professionally and for the players to always give 100% effort.