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Musona enjoying new lease of life

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

WARRIORS skipper Knowledge Musona says he is enjoying a new lease of life at Belgian Jupiler Pro-League football side KAS Eupen after overcoming a nightmarish stint at fellow Belgian side Anderlecht to make an immediate impact at his new club.

After being frozen out of competitive football for almost a year at Anderlecht, Musona was last month handed a lifeline by the fellow Belgian club at KAS Eupen, who signed him on a loan deal, which runs until the end of the season.

The Smiling Assassin, as Musona is affectionately known, had impressed the KAS Eupen bosses during a training camp in Qatar.

Barely a month since the move, it now seems a new environment is what Musona needed following some solid performances for his new club.

Musona has not looked back since getting his loan stint off to a superb start with a goal just 10 minutes into his debut in a league match against Charleroi last month in their first match after the winter break.

The club had lost three consecutive matches before the break to drop to 13th place on the log standings in the 16-team league.

However, the club’s fortunes have changed since the New Year, managing two wins and a draw in five matches in a positive run in which Musona has been one of the team’s top performers.

Opening up for the first time on his time at the club so far in an exclusive interview with Belgian football journalist David Liz of L’Avenir Sport (lavenir.net/aseupen), Musona revealed that he was happy to be playing football regularly again after not being given the opportunity at Anderlecht.

“Yes, I’m really enjoying my football again and I feel very comfortable in this Eupen team. You know, I didn’t have many opportunities at Anderlecht. I’m happy to be in Eupen and to have my chance. I feel good to be playing regularly again,” Musona said.

The Warriors skipper revealed that he had settled well in the city of Eupen in the German-speaking Belgian province of Liège. Musona, who has been staying alone since moving to KAS Eupen, said his family would join him soon after moving into a new apartment last Friday.

“At the moment I live alone, I was waiting for my apartment that I got on Friday. My family will come. “My wife will come join me with my youngest child. My eldest is currently in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Whether Musona will make the move to KAS Eupen permanent remains unclear, and he says he will only make a decision at the conclusion of the current campaign and his focus at the moment was to continue playing good football.

“Yes, it’s just a loan until the end of the season. But we never know,” he said.

He added: “The two clubs could sit at the table and discuss a transfer. In football, you never know what can and cannot happen. It all starts with the effort we put on the field. Afterwards, the decision is made in the offices. We’ll see…”

KAS Eupen’s last league encounter was against second-placed Genk on Friday night, where they conceded a late goal six minutes from full-time to succumb to a 3-2 defeat at home.

Musona was yet again one of KAS Eupen’s best players on show as he played the full 90 minutes, which sets the stage perfectly for what should be an emotional return to Anderlecht, who his club face in their next league encounter next Sunday.

The 29-year-old Aces Youth Soccer Academy alumni is, however, still unsure if he will be able to feature in the match.

“To be honest, I asked the question a while ago. I was told we should check but I haven’t gotten an answer yet, so I’ll have to ask again. I especially hope to be able to play,” he said.

The forward is expected to play a key role for the Warriors when Zimbabwe resume the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in March.

It is, however, not yet clear if he will retain the national team’s captaincy duties under the new Warriors head coach, Croatian Zdravko Logarusic, who was unveiled on Thursday after signing a two-year contract.

During his first press conference after his unveiling, Logarusic said he would be banking on the expertise of the foreign-based players including Musona, Marvelous Nakamba, Khama Billiat and Tino Kadewere.

“I’m lucky because most of the Zimbabwe players play in Europe and in South Africa. They play competitive games and most of them are in the right age group to play football. “They are not too young, and not too old. What I just have to do is to create a team together and produce a nice thing, and we will do it,” he said.

Logarusic will name his provisional squad next week.

The Warriors are currently second in their Afcon group on four points, two behind leaders and reigning Africa champions Algeria, who won both matches against the other group opponents Zambia and Botswana.

Despite his lack of competitive match fitness at the time, Musona started in both matches.

He created both goals for Zimbabwe when they beat Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka after they had started off with a disappointing 0-0 draw against Botswana at home in November last year.

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