October has been a particularly memorable month for in-form Warriors and Bloemfontein Celtics fullback Ronald Pfumbidzai.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
First he bounced back into the starting line-up for Zimbabwe in the back to back Afcon qualifiers against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Not only did he impress, but he scored the opener in the first match as Zimbabwe pulled off an emphatic victory in Kinshasa. and Pfumbidzai aka MaRoo, will be remembered for his novel celebration where he sits his teammates down and mimics a lecturer.
Last Sunday, Pfumbidzai grabbed an injury time winner for Phunya Sele Sele as Celtic is affectionately known and as has become custom, it was lecture time.
This time even the technical team including coach Steve Komphela would not miss the “auspicious”occasion and sat attentively on the grass to listen to MaRoo’s lesson.
In all this, Pfumbidzai prefers modesty even promising more goals for club and country.
“Kugohwesa ndagara ndogohwesa mudhara (Scoring goals comes naturally for me my brother),” Pfumbidzai said in an exclusive interview with The Sports Hub.
“Scoring goals is part of my game whether I am playing for the club or country. The two goals I scored this month are nothing new to me, but I think the problem is I had injury problems at the start of the season and I was not playing as much. Now that I am fit, I am looking forward to scoring more goals in the national team as well as at my club,” the 23-year-old attacking full back said.
“Everyone loves to score goals but it all comes back to team work, so you give credit to the team. It takes a collective effort for one to score goals and I am grateful to my teammates,” he said.
Pfumbidzai is one of the best attacking defenders to emerge from the local football scene in recent years.
In 2016, he starred in Caps United’s league triumph, reportedly contributing 21 assists to the team’s cause that year and making it onto the Soccer Stars calendar.
But since he played for the Warriors and provided an assist in the 2-1 away win in Malawi back in 2015 during the Gabon Afcon qualifiers, Pfumbidzai has largely been overlooked by the national team coaches.
But judging by his performances against DRC, it appears he now has a stranglehold on the starting position on the left side of defence.
“Playing in the first team always comes with hard work. Your effort during training is what makes the coaches pick you and I think I managed to impress the coaches.
“Since I came to South Africa, I think I have improved on mental strength. Here they build you to be a soldier, strong brain wise and because it’s far from home, you face a lot of things so you just have to be strong to succeed,” Pfumbidzai said.
The former soccer star finalist has also developed a knack for scoring goals direct from the corners, a skill which he says dates back to his time when he played for Hippo Valley.
He talks about his goals and dreams.
“Every player wishes to play in top leagues in the world and also play for big teams. But what I want is to be injury free and then I know I can go far.
And with the national team, the target is just to win the next game against Liberia so that we can qualify for the Afcon finals and then we can set another target from there,” he said.
“I think we are good age wise as well as talent. Some of the players know each other very well having played together in the past and given a chance, we can set records for Zimbabwe,” Pfumbidzai said of the current Warriors squad.
In 2015, Pfumbidzai had a stint at Danish side Hobro IK before his contract was prematurely terminated about six months into his one year contract.
Pfumbidzai’s career began at Eagles juniors before local coach Taku Shariwa took him to Hippo Valley. Shariwa was also instrumental in bringing the player to CAPS United.
Born on December 25 1994 Pfumbidzai is married to Graduate, who he prefers to call mai Meagan after their daughter.