BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WARRIORS forward Tino Kadewere (pictured left) has set sights on achieving great things with French football giants Olympique Lyon, including winning the Ligue 1 title as he looks to open his scoring account for his new club in today’s league clash away at Lorient.
Kadewere, who is only settling into the club after joining from Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January, was given his first pre-match press conference duties alongside coach Rudi Garcia on Friday
The 24-year-old lanky striker was signed for a reported fee of €15 million and loaned back to the second-tier side as he finished as the league’s top scorer.
But his pre-season was far from smooth after he lost his older brother Prince, who passed away in August which meant he missed a big chunk of pre-season training as well as the season opener against Dijon.
The former Harare City man has featured in the club’s last three league games, starring in one of the matches and is eager to hit the ground running.
“I had a very, very difficult time with what happened to my brother. Unfortunately, this is part of the vagaries of life. Now I need to focus on the club. I am very happy to be at Olympique Lyon because I can achieve great things here, as my brother would have liked. My goal is to win the league, I would give anything to take home this trophy,” Kadewere said during the press conference.
“Olympique Lyon are a very big club. We are a family, we have the same goals, and we do everything together. I am very happy to be a part of it. We must now put this state of mind into action on the pitch,” he added.
Lyon have won seven league titles in France the last one coming in the 2007-2008 season to complete an impressive run of seven consecutive championships.
The club is looking to build on its UEFA Champions League semi-final feat last season to challenge defending champions Paris St Germain.
After netting 20 goals in Ligue 2 last season, Lyon coach Rudi Garcia has high expectations of the Zimbabwean and has shown immovable faith in him.
Kadewere is set to make another start for Lyon today following injury to Cameroonian forward Karl Toko Ekambi and will be looking to break a goal duck against Lorient.
The Zimbabwean scored against the same opponents in Ligue 2 when he was still at Le Havre last year in a 2 – 2 draw .
“I have joined a very big club. I’ve been very warmly welcomed into this family. I’m very, very happy to be here. I am used to quickly starting to score at a new club. I scored against Lorient last season and I hope to do the same on Sunday [today],” Kadewere said.
“I think I’m starting off pretty well with the team, although I haven’t scored yet. However, this is not enough. If I had a reason for coming to OL, it was to score and help the team win. In all the clubs I have played for, I scored my first goals in the second or third matches.
“It’s in the head that success happens, but you can’t just think about your personal situation to make things work, you have to think about the team. You have to do things naturally,” he said.
In the current league race Lyon sat 12th going into the weekend with five points from four matches having won once, drawn twice and losing just one match.
Anything less than a win will hurt their title aspirations early on in the league race.
Kadewere shared his sentiments over the team’s recent performance.
“It’s a bit difficult at the moment; we have played three matches without a win. We have worked a lot this week to correct the situation in Lorient,” he said.
Garcia reckons the passing of Kadewere’s brother may have precipitated the player’s slow start at the club.
“Tino Kadewere was impacted by his family bereavement. It’s important that he is back with us. He is a very interesting player. We have high hopes for him. He has a great state of mind and spirit, with a focus on the group,” he said.