AFTER 21 years of professional football, retired footballer Clemence Matawu was recently served with a special award by the Football Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) for his exploits with the ball.
The rather coy Matawu (38), a veteran of many football battles said: “After a journey that began in 1998 while I was still playing for Shamva Football Club, it’s an honour to get recognition from fellow footballers. It’s an honour and I will always cherish that.”
The former Warriors midfielder, who also boasts of a playing stint in Poland, assumed the role of Gamecocks’ administrator in late February after a three months’ probation period.
“It’s a new challenge that I have always been wishing for. I actually had in mind during my playing days that one day I will venture into football administration,” said the soft spoken Matawu.
He added: “My new role was cemented by the degree programme which I did at NUST. It actually took a lot of motivation from a group that we code named #Football project.”
Last year, the midfielder graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Sport Science and Coaching to join a growing list of local footballers attaining academic qualifications.
The new Chicken Inn administrator, a record six-time Soccer Star of the Year finalist, hung his boots after efforts by coach Joey Antipas to convince him to continue playing came to naught.
He arrived at Gamecocks in June 2013 to cap it up with a brilliance on the field of play which he juggled between training sessions and studies. Since his return from Poland in 2011, Matawu refused to be slowed down by age, scoring crucial goals for Chicken Inn and making it into the Soccer Stars list three times on the trot from 2015.
He had previously made it into the best 11 in 2003, 2004 and 2006 when he was crowned the king of Zimbabwe football, beating former Highlanders midfielder Honour Gombami to the top gong.