BY SPORTS REPORTER
ZIMBABWE international goalkeeper Talbert Shumba is closing in on a move to South Africa’s second tier Glad Africa Championship with Free State Stars desperate to secure his services ahead of the new season.
The 31-year-old former Chapungu goal-minder spent the previous campaign at Zambian side Nkana FC, where he represented the club in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The South African football website Soccer Laduma revealed that Shumba landed in the country last week for a trial stint with Free State Stars, who are eyeing a return to the South African Premiership next season.
“As part of the plans to beef up the squad as they will be making another attempt to return to the DStv Premiership in the upcoming season, after losing some of the key players in Monnapule Saleng who has signed for Orlando Pirates and Relebogile Mokhuoane who is expected to be unveiled at Cape Town City among others, Free State Stars could be set to finalise a deal with Zimbabwean goalkeeper Talbert Shumba,” Soccer Laduma revealed on Friday.
“Shumba is already with Ea Lla Koto and indications are that the 31-year-old will be offered a deal, as confirmed by sources in the know.
“The experienced shot-stopper had a spell with Zambian topflight club Nkana, having previously played for Chapungu and Triangle United in Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League. They (Free State Stars) are very interested in the player at Ea Lla Koto and he has been identified as a target as part of the club’s plans to beef up their squad.
“Don’t be surprised if the player will be offered a deal in the next few days.”
Shumba has established himself as a strong contender for the Warriors’ number one jersey under Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic, having previously served as an understudy to George Chigova, Ariel Sibanda and the error-prone Elvis Chipezeze in the past.
Ever since he replaced Chipezeze, at the start of the second half in Algeria in November last year, before he was thrown into the deep end in the return leg in Harare, he has commanded the starting jersey.
The goalkeeper was in goal when the Warriors secured their ticket to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals with a slender 1-0 victory over Botswana in Francistown in March.