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Muringai exceeds own expectations

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

At this time last year, Dynamos teenage star Tinotenda Muringai was playing academy football and it was in his wildest imagination that he would be a regular for the Harare football giants within a year.

Since making his Premier Soccer League (PSL) debut in Dynamos colours in a home defeat against Hwange at Rufaro in the second match of the season, Muringai has become a permanent feature on the left side of the Harare giants’ defence.

At just 18, Muringai has an added responsibility of taking the set pieces for a big club like Dynamos.

The last eight months since the Friendly Academy product went for trials at Dynamos have been like a dream, even he cannot believe that he is part of the first team, let alone playing regularly.

“When I came for trials at Dynamos early this year in January, my aim was to make the B side of the team since I am young. I never thought I was going to be part of the first 11 to play this season. To my surprise, I was picked to play and when I started playing, I realised that football is the same,” Muringai told The Sports Hub in an exclusive interview.

“It has always been my dream to play for a big team in this country, but I only didn’t know which team I was going to play for, so this is a dream come true for me.

“It feels really great and I am enjoying every moment. At first I lacked confidence because it was my first time playing in the league at a big club. I have been pushing hard to
improve and now I am more confident,” he added.

Undoubtedly, Muringai is a special talent and exudes the poise and confidence that belies a player who only turned 18 in July.

But coaches have continued to see something special in the former Oriel Boys High student.

First it was Moses Chunga who took the player to the Cosafa Under-17 Championships in Mauritius as part of the Young Warriors two years ago when he was only 15, as well as Lloyd
Chigowe, who signed the player for Dynamos at the beginning of the year.

Tonderai Ndiraya also kept faith in the youngster whose name is probably one of the first on the team sheet.

And for a 17-year-old signing a first professional contract with a big club meant an unusually big cheque to handle for a teenager and one wonders what Muringai did with his signing-on
fee to start with.

“When I got my first cheque from Dynamos I bought my mother blankets and I bought my father a pair of shoes and a suit. I also spent some of it with my friends, but most of it I gave to
my mother so she could put it to good use,” Muringai revealed.

“And now all I try to do is to help look after the family whenever I can and my parents are always advising me on what to do with my salary and winning bonuses,” he added.

Muringai’s meteoric rise to become one of the best fullbacks currently plying his trade in the local league has made the teenager to set lofty goals for himself.

The player, whose role model is Brazilian wing back Marcelo, dreams of playing in the English Premiership one day.

“My dream is to play in Europe and play for my favourite team in England, Manchester City, in the premier league. But my immediate goal is to win the championship with Dynamos and play
in the CAF champions’ league.

“I am inspired by Real Madrid defender Marcelo, who is my best left back in the world. I watch him a lot and I always want to learn from him. I hope I will be able to achieve as much as he has done in his career,” he said.

Muringai’s football career began in Harare’s Dzivarasekwa suburb at an academy called Reclaim before moving to Kuwadzana and it was in Kuwadzana where Friendly Academy discovered the
player.

Friendly Academy is the football development institution that nurtured France-based Warriors star Marshall Munetsi, who plays for Stade Reims.

Born to Martin Muringai and Chipo Matemadanda, Muringai is the last born in a family of four where he is the only professional footballer.

His parents, also surprised by their son’s sudden impact at Dynamos, rarely miss an opportunity to watch him play whenever the team is at home.

“My parents used to come and watch me when I was at the academy, but now they come to Rufaro and seem to enjoy the moment. I would like to thank them for their support since I
started playing,” Muringai said.

And how does a teenage football star manage fame and the unsolicited attention from the girls?

“I have a lot of girls throwing themselves at me, but I am not a ladies kind of guy,” he said looking embarrassed with the prying question.

“I am an indoors kind of person especially when I am at home and that’s how I manage the popularity. I spend most of my time listening to music and watching movies,” Muringai said.

At this time last year, Dynamos teenage star Tinotenda Muringai was playing academy football and it was in his wildest imagination that he would be a regular for the Harare football giants within a year.

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