BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WARRIORS midfielder Marshall Munetsi’s second season in the French top flight league was not an easy one for him and his club Stade de Reims.
For him the season was blighted by injury towards the end while the team could not replicate the form of the previous season where they qualified for the Europa League and could only make a 14th place finish.
But Munetsi, who has been in the country for the past three weeks, has taken time to focus on other things that matter in his life especially charity initiatives spearheaded by his foundation.
The former Orlando Pirates star pays school fees for underprivileged children and donated food hampers to vulnerable families during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Last week, through the Marshall Munetsi Foundation, he donated football kits and soccer balls to Kadyamadare Primary School at his home village Chikwaka.
He has spent most of his time back home visiting underprivileged children with the desire to understand how else he can be of assistance.
“It’s been a great pleasure having people like Munyaradzi Tembo, Tawonga Mudavanhu, Keith Chinamasa and Talent Chawapiwa helping me visit and interact with kids in different areas and to know how best we can help them,” Munetsi told The Sports Hub.
“It is our desire to do more for these kids as a foundation and this off season break has helped me to understand areas of need for most of these kids. And we shall be doing more to assist in future,” he added.
Munetsi got a chance to meet Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic face-to-face for the first time and the two said they had a fruitful meeting.
The midfielder has never featured in Logarusic’s teams since the Croat was appointed early last year having been unavailable for one or the other reason whenever he was called up.
“It was amazing to finally meet the coach and we did spend time talking on the phone before and the meeting was a good one and am looking forward to working with him in the upcoming games,” Munetsi said.
Loga will be looking to have Munetsi in the squad in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, which have been postponed to kick off September this year having been initially schedule for June.
Zimbabwe are in Group G alongside South Africa, Ghana and Ethiopia.
Munetsi signed for Stade de Reims exactly two years ago and has managed to claim a regular position in the team mainly because of his versatility.
In France he has been deployed as a centre back as well as in defence, central and attacking midfield.
The 24-year-old star reflected on his time thus far in France especially the 2020/21 season.
“It’s been two years of learning and growth so I am happy with my progress. Language was a challenge, but l can finally speak some ‘things’ in French but am still learning,” he chuckled
“The last season was not a good one for us, but we did manage to stay up after a very difficult start.
“It’s something that we can learn as a group and individually also.
“The ultimate goal for me has always been to be the greatest version of myself and also to reach higher in my career. I also would like to win some trophies with Reims,” he said.
Munetsi was linked with a move to the English championship side Derby County in January.