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AC Milan adventure still motivates Cranborne Bullets’ Mudzuka

Cranborne Bullets’ goalless draw with Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium last month resulted in a lot of post-match debate.

It ignited the talk over time-wasting antics, as Dynamos coach Herbert ‘Jompano’ Maruwa complained of the ‘tricks’ after the final whistle.

“As a team, we need to come with a new strategy to get a positive result. Most of the teams are coming with delaying tactics (to frustrate us) like we saw today,” said Maruwa after the game.

“In the second half we played only 20 minutes, and the rest of the time the goalkeeper was down. Even last week (against Simba Bhora) it was the same, so these teams are coming here with delaying tactics,” he added.

The stalemate also sparked debate on whether or not Maruwa is the right man to bring back glory days in the blue half of the capital, as the Glamour Boys had failed to score for the second game in succession.

But all that post-match talk overshadowed the performance of one player —Cranborne Bullets’ Malvern Mudzuka.

Majabvi, as the lanky midfielder is affectionately-known due to his type of play which is somewhat similar to that of former Dynamos captain Justice Majabvi,  put on a brilliant show in the Bullets engine room and was deservedly named man of the match.

He was also on top of his game when Nesbert ‘Yabo’ Saruchera’s charges got their first win of the season last week —a 1-0 victory over Premiership debutants Simba Bhora.

The 26-year-old former Morgan High School student has been the shining light in what has been a very tough start to the season by the army side.

Performance analyst Kudzai Chitima used  Mudzuka as an example of the many underrated players in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

“As a scout, I have seen many players from the so called “big” teams being overhyped, while those from “small” teams rarely get the plaudits they deserve,” Chitima said.

“I like Malvern (Mudzuka’s) calmness on the ball, ball/space manipulation, his press resistant and ability to play in tight spaces.  He is a good player,” added Chitima.

The versatile midfielder, who in 2011 went for a fairytale trial stint at Serie A giants AC Milan’s youth team organized by World Wide Scholarships, still remembers how the trip to Italy came about.

“Scouts from AC Milan came in 2011 and said they wanted one player per each age group,” recalls Mudzuka.

“I was selected in the U-15 age group and was taken on an all expenses trip to Milan for trials at the AC Milan youth team.

“We came back after two weeks and we we were told we would return to Italy in 2012. Unfortunately,  the facilitator, World Wide Sports Scholarships could not manage to raise funds and we ended up not going,” he added.

Though he was naturally disappointed by the missed opportunity,  Mudzuka insists the two-week stay in Milan still motivates him to work hard and play in Europe one day.

“That experience still motivates me to this day.  Due to it, I keep on pushing believing that if I work hard, one day I will move to Europe,” he said.

It is the wish of every player in Zimbabwe to don the iconic gold and green Warriors strip, and Mudzuka is no exception.

“My ambition, just like every player in Zimbabwe,  is to play for the national team. I know it’s not easy to get a chance because there are many good players, but it is still my ambition,” said Mudzuka.

“For now, I just want to focus on my game make progress as a player,” he added.

Quiet people always know more than they seem, and that sums up Mudzuka as a player.

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