AT the beginning of the 2011 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season, Golden Boot award winner Roderick Mutuma hogged the limelight after his announcement that he had turned to God soon after signing for Bulawayo giants Highlanders.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Controversy has so far always stalked the former Warriors forward.
From being embroiled in brawls with fellow footballers such as his ex-captain at Dynamos Murape Murape as well as former Black Rhinos defender Obey Gada, trouble always seemed to follow the former CAPS United forward.
The nomadic Mutuma, famed for his bad boy image, would go on to send tongues wagging when he decided to dump the Bulawayo giants for a sensational midseason move to relegation-haunted Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries-owned side, Yadah FC.
His responsibility was to help Yadah FC survive the dreaded chop from the top-flight league, something he is not familiar with in his football career.
While the team is sitting just above the relegation zone, having not lost a match in their last six games going into the weekend (two wins and four draws), Mutuma’s performances have been quite worrying as he is yet to open his goal-scoring account.
The former Dynamos talisman has only two league goals this season, both scored while he was still in Highlanders colours.
Mutuma is beginning to look like a pale shadow of the top marksman who was the best in the land six years ago before sealing a short-lived move to South African club Bloemfontein Celtics.
Now there is a general consensus among football fans that the “bad boy who cleaned up” is a spent force and can never scale the heights of years gone by.
In an interview with The Sports Hub, Mutuma, however, dismissed the notion that he was past his prime.
“There is nothing like that my brother. The future is in God’s hands and it is Him who makes all things possible,” the 29-year-old gangly striker declared.
“People cannot judge me because they are not God. What I can say is I will definitely bounce back to my level best and start scoring goals again and it’s just a matter of time,”he added.
At Highlanders, Mutuma quickly settled, forming a deadly combination with teenage prodigy Prince Dude, who has since moved to Supersport United in South Africa.
While Mutuma’s swith to Yadah was reportedly financially rewarding, he is yet to justify his much hyped move by finding the back of the net on a regular basis.
Mutuma now has just five matches to get on the score sheet for the team that lured him from Bulawayo where he had fast become the fans’ favourite.
And while that first goal remains elusive, Mutuma reckons church has made him a better footballer.
“Church has helped my career in every way in terms of work ethic, discipline, maturity and many other things. I have been going to church every time because I have learnt that church is good for an individual. It helps you as an individual and church makes things flow in life,” he said.
Mutuma has played for Dynamos on three different occasions, until he was offloaded for indiscipline in January this year and joined the elite club of players who have turned out for the big three — Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders.
He also had a highly unsuccessful stint at Bloemfontein Celtics in South Africa.
The two-time league champion who has moved clubs frequently could not be drawn to talk about his next destination.
“My future is in God’s hands. I don’t even know where football will take me next but at the moment, I am enjoying my football at Yadah,” Mutuma said.
Mutuma could play in the less fashionable Division One league should the Miracle Boys fail to work miracles and survive relegation.
Yet he is confident that the job will be done in spite of the bad patch that he is going through on an individual level.
“So far, we want for fight to avoid relegation and move up the ladder because we are hanging precariously in the league. Obviously we are going to survive, we are confident and we have a lot of games at home so it makes the job easier,” he said.
Mutuma started his professional career with Mvuma Stars in 2003 and was in the books of Zim Alloys, Quelaton, Mimosa Big Valley Masters, as well of Sporting Manhenga before his big break at Dynamos in 2011.