Fungai Muderere/Raymond Jaravaza
IN the wake of reports that red-hot forward Clive Augusto has captivated South African premiership clubs and an unnamed European team, Chicken Inn gaffer Joey Antipas, says they are not yet prepared to release the player.
Mzansi’s Golden Arrows, Black Leopards and Maritzburg United are said to have formally written to Chicken Inn asking about the availability of the former Ngezi Platinum striker.
The forward’s fine form has seen him win the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League’s April and May Player of the Month awards.
Augusto, who has scored in all the eight games that Chicken Inn have won to date, took his tally to 13 goals last Saturday and he is steadily poising himself for the Golden Boot award at the end of the season.
“I am a coach who will never block a player from moving to a bigger league.
While we have heard about the South African clubs that have kept on inquiring about Augusto, they should try and get his signature next season because right now we still need him,” said Antipas.
Interestingly, the player feels he has not done enough to deserve a move to a foreign league.
“I’m happy that the good work that I am doing at Chicken Inn is recognised. I have heard about the clubs that have been monitoring me but I think I haven’t done enough at Chicken Inn,” said the towering striker.
Local clubs are fond of letting players make premature moves to foreign leagues.
This is a development that reportedly saw the likes of Prince Dube, Roderick Mutumwa, Simba Nhivi, Simba Sithole and Dominic Chungwa fail to make lasting impressions in the lucrative South Africa’s Absa Premiership.
Consequently, they were all forced to retrace their footsteps back home. The interest in Augusto is likely to affect Chicken Inn’s title charge should the player move. Last week, the club released veteran striker Obadiah Tarumbwa to Southern Region Division One side Talen Vision.
Meanwhile the goal scoring machine Augusto says it’s premature for him to leave Chicken Inn and he still wants to improve his game at the GameCocks in the wake of countless offers mounting for his services from South African clubs.
Augusto’s stock continues to grow on the local scene with an impressive 13 goals, in the same number of matches.
Naturally such scoring prowess comes with interest from South African clubs that are always quick to snatch emerging talent from Zimbabwe.
But Augusto is treading carefully at the prospects of playing across the Limpopo just yet.
“It’s important for me to grow as a player here at Chicken Inn before I can think about making a move to another team.
I’m enjoying myself here, my teammates, coaches and the club bosses have been amazing to work with. So I don’t have a reason to rush and join another team.
“There might be offers coming from teams in South Africa but my heart is at Chicken Inn and I want to win trophies here,” Augusto told B-Metro Sport after pocketing $5 800 at the club’s awards ceremony on Monday.
Augusto, who joined Chicken Inn from Ngezi Platinum at the beginning of the season, won four man-of-the-match awards out of the 13 games played so far.
Each man-of-the-match award, sponsored by Chicken Inn’s partners Zibuko Capital, had a prize money of $200. He was also recognised by his teammates who voted him the players’ player of the month for April, May and June, winning $3 000 sponsored by Bonvie.
He got an additional $2 000 for being voted the Black Shark Player of the Month for April and May.
Asked if he was disappointed at being left out of the Warriors’ squads that played in the Cosafa Cup and Africa Cup of
Nations in South Africa and Egypt respectively, the striker says he respects the decisions of the national team coaches.
“I’m still young with many years ahead of me and my time to play for the national team will come.
The coaches have reasons for selecting some players and leaving out others so as a footballer I have to respect that,” he said.