It has not been an easy football journey for August player-of-the-month and Chicken Inn captain Moses Jackson.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The talent was obvious when he was young, but the frustration of failing to make it into the star-studded Caps United made him quit football, opting to work as a supervisor at a farm in Gweru.
It was the farm team, Flora FC, which he played for socially and later on in the lower division leagues that brought him back to the football arena.
A premier league champion in 2015, Jackson scored three goals last month to scoop the August best player award in the division award.
This season, the veteran defender has developed a knack for popping in with some important goals for the title-chasing GameCocks and is currently ranking among the top scorers for the club, with four strikes.
While many believe that lady luck is just smiling at him, Jackson simply has a striker deep within him.
“For me, scoring goals is not new because I played as a striker before, although it was not in the league. I was only turned into a defender by coach Tavaka Gumbo in 2011 when I was at Hardbody,” the 36-year-old skipper told Sports World.
Jackson expressed delight recently at being recognised as the best player for the month of August alongside his gaffer Rahman Gumbo, who emerged the best coach.
“I am happy to have won the award considering there are a lot of players in the league. It also means that people are appreciating my contribution to the team,” he said.
Born in Bulawayo, Jackson grew up in Harare’s dingy dormitory settlement, Epworth, where he showed signs of a future football star from an early age.
Jackson played for Zimphos as a junior before moving to the Caps United juniors where he spent a number of years but failed to break into the first team.
The frustration of failing to make the big break as well as becoming a family man at a young age meant he had to look for a job.
“At that time, I completely gave up on football and worked as a supervisor at a flower-exporting farm just outside Gweru. Then one gentleman named Tinofirei started a team for the farm and we played socially,” recalled Jackson.
“Never at any time did I ever think that I would play in the premier league. I spent more than five years at Flora and the team eventually bought a franchise in division two around 2008 and what has happened since then has been like a dream.”
Jackson grabbed the attention of top Gweru teams with his goal-scoring exploits while playing as a striker. He led Flora FC to the Midlands Division 2 A championship in 2009 before ambitious side Hardbody snapped him up.
In 2012 he joined Chicken Inn, finally playing in the league at the ripe age of 30.
“Things came together really late for me in my career, which is why I enjoy my football so much. Who would have thought I would ever lay my hands on the league title? I can’t describe how happy I am to be at Chicken Inn,” he said.
Just like his coach Gumbo, Jackson declared that Chicken Inn are targeting nothing short of the league title this season as they are in second place with 51 points, a point behind leaders Dynamos.
“We are not boasting but as a team, we want to win the league title and I believe we will win it this year. I am not saying it’s going to be easy but the team has shown a lot of hunger for it, so we are going to go game by game and see how it goes.”