BY TERRY MADYAUTA
NIGEL Makumbe has been the name on ZPC Kariba coach Godfrey Tamirepi’s lips since he burst onto the scene for the power utility side this season and playing a starring role for them so far.
Having joined them from Highlanders, the 22-year-old took his new surroundings like a duck to water as he scored his first goal for Kauya Katuruturu on his debut in a match they eventually lost to Chicken Inn.
The exciting forward and made a mark under the tutelage of Madinda Ndlovu at Highlanders last season, and appears to have slowly come out of his shell since joining ZPC Kariba, where he has produced a number of mouth-watering performances, ,which have been the backbone to their strong start this season.
And as far as flying starts go, they have rocketed off the blocks and shown that amongst the little they spent in acquiring better players, there are plenty of hidden gems as well.
The out-spoken gaffer, Tamirepi, has not made his admiration for Makumbe a secret, and described as his side’s magic-dice.
ZPC currently sit on the third position with 12 points on their tally, and are just one point behind log leaders FC Platinum going into week six of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL), where they face Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium today.
And now the talented forward finds himself firmly part of his coach’s plans after showing a brilliant attitude, which also marked an improved start to the season compared to their dismal start last season.
“He is a wonder to watch. I am very impressed by his abilities because so far he has proved that he can even go an extra mile to help us achieve our goals,” Tamirepi told The Sports Hub in an interview on Friday.
“We could not ask for more, because the boy just fitted with the squad we had last season and nailed his position in the team.
Although we lost our first match against Chicken Inn, he scored his first goal for us, I felt we could get more from him.
“And to be honest, he is one of the most promising young players in our league. I see him achieving more this season,” said Tamirepi.
Though many of the Highlanders fans would have wanted him to stay longer, Makumbe left to join ZPC Kariba when his loan spell from reigning champions FC Platinum expired.
He joined ZPC Kariba together with James Marufu from Dynamos, Tinotenda Chiunye from caps United and Brian Juru formerly with Chicken Inn.
And while ZPC Kariba have employed a wait-and-see tactic to the current title race, Makumbe sees them ending the season with some silverware.
“I am happy at ZPC Kariba, and everything has been going on very well for me since joining the team.
“Game time defines a football player and each time you are on the move from one club to another, what matters is: Will you get game time to keep fit, score goals, win trophies for your team?
“It could be fun to move from one club to another, just as an adventure and also gaining experience, but the bottom line is being able to adapt and play with the already available teams.
“Last season, I was at Highlanders, who are one of the biggest clubs. We really did not make any achievement in terms of trophies but playing there moulded me and I am always going to be grateful to them.
“So this season, I hope to help this amazing team win something this season. If not the PSL title, then the Chibuku Super Cup.
“We have to work harder and make sure we maintain this form until the end of the season. It’s a gradual process that needs maximum concentration from everyone,” he said.
Makumbe is expected to be at the top of his game for ZPC when they take on struggling Dynamos.