His story reads like an imitation of one of the Warriors’ kingpin, Knowledge Musona’s journey, except maybe just less glamorous.
By Brian Nkiwane
He is a teenage boy who has never played football in the domestic league at a high level, but has already lit up the stage for Kaizer Chiefs under-17s and Bidvest Wits in South Africa’s Super Diski.
This year, Tanaka Chinyahara made a big break into the European leagues when he signed for Danish side Hobro IK, which is also home to Warrior Quincy Antipas and former CAPS United defender Ronald Pfumbidzayi.
Although the game time has been hard to come by, with just one low-key appearance to date, as well as being named in the match day squad three times, the excited young midfielder has set sights on the Warriors’ jersey.
“I joined Hobro IK in July this year on a one-year contract that will be extended if I impress. This was a big break in my football career and ultimately, I would love to play for my country,” Chinyahara said in an interview with Standardsport.
Having had his early football kicks at CAPS United juniors six year ago, the 19-year-old starlet was signed by South African giants Kaizer Chiefs to be part of their developmental squad when he was 14.
He later joined Bidvest Wits where he was subsequently spotted by Danish scouts while playing for the Clever Boys in a junior tournament late last year, with the move to Denmark materialising in July this year.
“I am really enjoying life in the Danish League and I am looking forward to more game time. I have just played one game so far and been named as a substitute three other times. Danish football is more aggressive and fast than that in South Africa but I think I have adapted well to that type of football,” the former Pfumo Primary School (Chitungwiza) student said.
Chinyahara became the third Zimbabwean plying his trade at Hobro IK after Antipas and Pfumbidzai — who have helped the young player feel at home at the club.
“My friend at the club is obviously Pfumbidzai, but Antipas is like a big brother to me and also Silas Songani who plays in the same league — they are always helping me each and every time. There are also a lot of West Africans playing in the Danish league and they are easy to get along with,” he said.
Mali defender Adama Tamboura and Senegalese midfielder Tidiane Sane complete the number of Africans in the Holbro IK books.
With Holbro currently rock bottom on the nine game old league having recorded two wins, one draw and six defeats , Chinyahara hopes that coach Jonas Dal will make wholesale changes to the team which will see him getting more game time and prove his mettle.
Only game time and outstanding performances in the next few months can see the teenage star getting a national team call up.