CHICKEN Inn players on Wednesday received their Covid-19 vaccine to become the latest local football family to get vaccinated amid revelations that club returnee Tafadzwa Kutinyu was among those that got inoculated.
Some of Premier Soccer League clubs whose players and officials have been vaccinated include Highlanders, Bulawayo City, Dynamos and Black Rhinos.
Gamecocks clinical officer Waison Mpala said it was pleasing to note that their entire squad has seen the value to adhere to one of the most important Covid-19 protocols that will in the process usher in a smooth return of local football action.
“On Wednesday all of our players took their first Covid-19 jabs. This was after the club’s officials did so last month.
“Club returnee Tafadzwa Kutinyu among our other veteran players that got inoculated. It all shows we are moving in the right direction, adhering to one of the most important Covid-19 protocols that will probably lead to a smooth return of the game.
“Everyone in the sporting fraternity is also encouraged to get vaccinated. We have all seen how Covid-19 has affected football and life in general, so it is our hope that the vaccines will help mitigate against the spread of Covid-19 and as a result, return to normal life, which we are all missing now,” said Mpala.
Kutinyu left Chicken Inn for playing stints in Tanzania and most recently in Guinea where he turned out for Horoya AC.
In Tanzania, Kutinyu played for Singinda United and Azam FC before moving to West Africa in 2019.
“Certainly, we could not shut the door on Kutinyu. He is a brilliant player, who left the club after producing some breathtaking performances.
“It’s good that he has retraced his roots and we are very happy with the development,” said Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas.
The veteran coach said Kutinyu, a playmaker, who once did duty for Bantu Rovers, “will be a direct replacement for Clemence Matawu”, who retired and was subsequently appointed the Gamecocks’ administrator
The 26-year-old Kutinyu started training with his teammates last Wednesday.
Chicken Inn are conducting workouts at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds under the watchful eye of Antipas and his trusted lieutenant Prince “Baba” Matore.
Kutinyu was part of the 2015 championship-winning Chicken Inn side together with former captain Danny “Deco” Phiri, Devine Lunga, Lawrence Mhlanga, Clemence Matawu, Elvis Chipezeze, Guide Goddard, Thomas Chimenya, Bhekimpilo “Bhakha” Ncube, Canaan Nkomo, Pride Zendera and Passmore Bernard, among others.
While Matawu and Ncube have since retired, the duo of Phiri and Lunga turn out for South African Premier Soccer League side Golden Arrows, while Chipezeze is with Baroka FC in the same league and Chimenya and Nkomo are now in the books of Southern Region Division One side Talen Vision.
Mhlanga left the Gamecocks three seasons ago to join FC Platinum, while Zendera, Goddard and Bernard are still doing duty for the Simbisa Brands sponsored outfit.