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Age-defying Makonese still going strong at 40

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Masvingo: Former Warriors and Orlando Pirates’ age-defying defender Zvenyika Makonese recently signed a contract with relegation threatened side, Shabanie Mine, that will mean he is playing for the Premier League in his early 40s.

Sukuoluhle Ndlovu

Zvenyika Makonese joined the Chinda Boys, after failing to make a grade in Swazi’s top flight league due to his age.

The Chiredzi born footballer, made his debut for the Zvishavane based side few weeks ago against Bulawayo City, in which the defender was part of the defence that conceded three goals.

In an exclusive interview with Sportbrief, Makonese, who, out of passion revived his footballing career as a player following the mass exodus of Shabanie Mine players, said age is nothing but a number. He further suggested that he does not think age is catching up with him because even at 40 he still has what it takes to run in the field of play.

“I decided to join the Chinda boys this season for at least a year or two before I quit for coaching. Football is what I know best.I would not say age is catching up with me, in my own opinion to me age is just a number; l still have power and ability to run harder and faster in the field because l am getting adequate training,” said Makonese.

He said prior to his decision to settle for Shabanie Mine he had tried his luck with other top Premier Soccer League teams but in vain.

“I tried a lot of big teams in the PSL; Highlanders, Howmine and Platinum FC to mention a few but they could not take me at that time as they did not have a room for me,” he said.

Makonese hinted that he will one day enroll in coaching, following the foot steps of other former players like Calisto Pasuwa, Tonderai Ndiraya, Llyod Chitembwe,Norman Mapeza to name but a few, who have made household names both as players and coaches.

“l want to take my career to another stage, l have seen a lot of players who then become coaches and l am busy organising to go for coaching sessions, you never know where the future will take you,” Makonese revealed his coaching aspirations.

The huge built player also revealed that the premier league returnees are going through a difficult period in terms of their balance sheet.

“Joining the team now and again does not mean the team has a huge allowance for its players, things are not well for the team and a number of players have moved to other teams

“Things at Shabanie are not settled at the moment, we having in house problems and financial problems are being faced by the team and it has become the key problem for the team,” Makonese revealed.

Zvenyika started his footballing career at the age of 12 at Shingai in Tshovani in 1988 before moving to Chiredzi Christian.

He moved a step forward when he joined social clubs in the Lowveld, Zesa Chiredzi and Hippo Valley Estate, that is when he migrated from Chiredzi to join Guni United in Masvingo from 1997 to 2000.

He rose to the top when he signed with Shabanie Mine FC which ushered him into the top flight league. He also played in the Foreign land for Engen Santos and Orlando Pirates in South Africa.

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief www.sportbrief.co.zw. He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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